Three homers help Astros top Rangers

Michael Eldridge, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- After an Opening Night win over the Texas Rangers on March 31, the Houston Astros had been unsuccessful in replicating that performance in six consecutive losses against its in-state rival.
However, that skid came to an end. The Astros belted three home runs to beat the Rangers 9-5 on Saturday night for their first win in Arlington since 2011.
"I felt like our guys had good at-bats all day," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "I thought they managed their at-bats well and got good pitches to hit."
The three homers resulted in seven runs, the most the Astros had scored since June 5 against Baltimore.
Texas was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and missed on an opportunity to regain the lead in the American League West with Oakland's loss in Kansas City earlier in the day.
"They put up nine runs tonight on three of our best pitchers," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "(Our pitchers) just didn't get the job done. They can catch some pitches and tonight they caught some."
Houston's Marc Krauss finished with a career-high three hits for the first multi-hit game of his career.
"The whole team was putting quality at-bats together tonight," Krauss said. "If we can do that night in and night out, we're going to put up some runs and keep ourselves in games and give ourselves a chance to win like we did tonight."
Krauss' two RBIs in the fifth were the first RBI of his career, coming in his fourth start in the majors.
Having squandered a four-run lead to end the sixth inning, the Astros bounced back in the seventh with a rally started by a walk from Texas starter Yu Darvish.
Robbie Ross replaced Darvish on the mound and hit Brett Wallace with a pitch to bring Jason Castro to the plate.
Castro, who was selected to his first career All-Star Game earlier in the day, hit his career-high 12th home run of the season to center and gave Houston a 7-4 lead.
"Our group is a resilient group," Porter said. "They fight and claw every day. It was good to see them bounce back, but it wasn't anything that was a shock to us because they have done it all year."
Darvish (8-4) gave up five earned runs, six hits and four walks. He struck out six.
After allowing Texas to jump out to a 10-0 lead on Friday night, Houston opened the scoring Saturday with a two-run homer from Brandon Barnes in the fourth inning.
Jake Elmore's two-run homer, the first home run of his career, in the eighth finished the scoring for Houston.
Travis Blackley pitched 1 1/3 innings for the Astros to pick up his first win of the year.
NOTES: Before the game, the Rangers recognized the first responders from the explosion in West, Texas, in the "City of West Night." MLB and MLBPA donated $100,000, and the Rangers Foundation donated $40,000 and Rangers players contributed $27,000 to the city of West. ... Texas had three players named to the American League All-Star team Saturday: Nelson Cruz, Darvish and Joe Nathan. Houston's representative will be C Jason Castro, who was named to his first All-Star team. ... Jurickson Profar, who had been used as a utility infielder, made his first start in the outfield (left field).

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