Rangers 16, Astros 5

Michael Eldridge, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers cruised to their sixth consecutive win over their in-state rivals, with a season-high 16 runs -- including an 11-run inning that was the biggest in baseball this season, in a 16-5 victory over the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas, winners of 12 of the last 13 meetings since an opening night loss, sent 11 across the plate to break open what was a 2-1 game in the third. The Rangers (72-53) claimed the opener of a three-game series with the Astros.
The 11-run inning eclipsed the previous season-high of nine the team plated in Saturday night's 15-3 win over Seattle. A.J. Pierzynski led the way with four hits and four RBI on the night and ended a 46-inning streak for the Rangers without a home run with a shot to right in the seventh. Pierzynski was a triple short of the cycle.
Leonys Martin added three hits and combined with Elvis Andrus as the pair each crossed the plate three times each in the contest.
Matt Garza struck out eight to improve to 9-2 on the season, 3-1 with the Rangers. However, Garza's five earned runs ended a streak of 21 games in which the Rangers rotation had now allowed four runs or less. Garza allowed eight hits scattered over his 6 2/3 innings pitched and struck out eight.
Robbie Ross replaced Garza in the sixth and gave up a RBI-double to Brett Wallace that was charged to Garza. Ross would retire four of the next five batters faced to give way to Joakim Soria, who worked a perfect ninth.
Houston (41-83) had entered with momentum after claiming the first two series of a nine-game road trip before facing Texas.
Houston starter Lucas Harrell gave up nine runs (seven earned) in his previous start against the Rangers on July 5. He matched that misfortune Monday, allowing another nine runs (seven earned). Harrell lasted 2 1/3 innings Monday after going 3 2/3 in the ugly outing that lost him his regular place in the rotation.
After Texas plated two in the first, the flood gates opened against Harrell in the third.
Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus opened the inning with back-to-back hits for the second time in the game, having done so in the first. Each wound up scoring twice in the third inning.
The seven-hit rally included a two-run single by A.J. Pierzynski, a two-run double by Mitch Moreland and a two-run throwing error by Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar.
Pierzynski added an RBI single later in the inning.
NOTES: Houston replaced its scheduled starter, RHP Jordan Lyles, with Harrell after Lyles appeared in relief Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels. ... Texas announced before the game that LHP Travis Blackley would start on Tuesday against the Astros. Blackley was acquired from the Astros on Aug. 14. ... Andrus recorded the 29th steal of home in franchise history during the first inning. ... 3B Adrian Beltre became the first Ranger since Oscar Gamble in 1979 to be intentionally walked in his first two plate appearances of a game.

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