The Texas Rangers seemed prepared for Houston Astros starter Gerrit Cole and handed the two-time All Star the worst outing of his career in a 9-4 win on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas.
The Rangers scored five runs in the first inning and knocked Cole (1-3) out after 4 1/3 innings. Cole allowed nine runs (eight earned) and nine hits, striking out eight and walking three.
Danny Santana had three hits, Joey Gallo had two, including his eighth home run of the season, and Asdrubal Cabrera went 2-for-4 with three RBIs for the Rangers.
Rangers starter Adrian Sampson threw four shutout innings, but fell into trouble in the fifth and left two outs shy of qualifying for his first major league win. He allowed two runs and seven hits, striking out three and walking one.
Shawn Kelley (3-0) got the final two outs in the fifth and pitched a scoreless sixth to earn the victory.
Max Stassi and George Springer each hit two-run homers for the Astros. Springer, Michael Brantley and Jake Marisnick had two hits each.
After the first four Rangers reached base off Cole, Cabrera lifted a high fly down the left field line. Shortstop Carlos Correa was shifted on the other side of second base, and third baseman Alex Bregman and left fielder Josh Reddick couldn't get to the ball before it dropped in fair territory, scoring two runs for a 3-0 lead.
Logan Forsythe followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0, and Correa's two-out fielding error scored the fifth run of the 43-pitch inning.
Gallo homered to lead off the third to make it 6-0.
Stassi hit a two-run homer in the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-2, but the Rangers got three runs back in their half of the inning. Gallo doubled with one out, and Cabrera followed with an RBI single to make it 7-2.
Cole departed, but the scoring continued. Delino DeShields tripled in two more runs in the inning to make it 9-2.
Springer went deep in the seventh to trim the lead to 9-4.
--Field Level Media