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Seager helps break open game with RBI single after 2-run error as Rangers beat Astros 7-2

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Corey Seager helped break open a close game with an RBI single for Texas after the star shortstop's two-run error gave Houston an early lead, and the Rangers beat the Astros 7-2 on Saturday night.

Seager was one of five consecutive Rangers with hits off Houston closer Ryan Pressly in a four-run eighth inning for the World Series champs after Marcus Semien had a tiebreaking single in the sixth.

“They just keep going,” manager Bruce Bochy said of his hitters. “They just keep pushing and found a way to win that ballgame.”

The Rangers beat the Astros at home for a second night in a row after losing all three games at Globe Life Field while still winning last year's seven-game AL Championship Series between the Texas rivals.

The Astros, defending AL West champions with six division titles in the past seven years, dropped five games under .500 just nine games into the season.

Houston hasn't been that far under .500 since June 2016, the year before the club's current MLB-record run of seven consecutive ALCS appearances.

“It's nine games. That's what they're thinking. It's early,” first-year Houston manager Joe Espada said. “We're going to continue to grind. That's the makeup and character of this team.”

Josh Sborz, the fifth of six Texas relievers who held Houston to three hits over the final 5 2/3 innings, was an out away from a perfect eighth when he paused after throwing a second called strike to José Abreu.

The right-hander, who recorded the final out of the World Series, winced as he raised his arm. Sborz left the game after a visit with an athletic trainer.

Bochy said Sborz felt soreness in his right shoulder and probably could have stayed in the game. More testing was planned for Sunday.

José Leclerc finished off the three-pitch strikeout of Abreu before allowing hits to Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez in a scoreless ninth inning, the first hits for Houston since the fourth. Leclerc got his first save.

Altuve had three hits to extend his hitting streak to nine games, the longest to start the season in the star second baseman's 14-year career.

Adolis García didn't extend his five-game homer streak against the Astros going back to the ALCS, but he had a run-scoring single in the eighth. Rookie Wyatt Langford had an RBI double.

The Astros took a 2-1 lead in the third when Seager fumbled a routine two-out grounder by Yainer Diaz with the bases loaded and threw wide to first, allowing Alvarez and Kyle Tucker to score.

Two of Texas starter Jon Gray's three walks in the third created the bases-loaded situation for the Astros. The right-hander allowed five hits and two unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Brock Burke replaced Gray and allowed Alvarez's single before retiring Tucker on a flyout. José Ureña gave up a walk in the fifth before Kirby Yates (1-0) and David Robertson each pitched a perfect inning.

Evan Carter had three hits for Texas a night after getting his first two of the season.

Houston's J.P. France (0-1) allowed eight hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He was replaced by Bryan Abreu, who gave up Semien's soft single for a 3-2 Texas lead after Leody Taveras moved up two bases with two outs on a steal and a wild pitch.

UP NEXT

Houston RHP Ronel Blanco (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is set for his first start since throwing the season's first no-hitter, a 10-0 victory over Toronto on Monday. RHP Dane Dunning (1-0, 4.26 ERA) goes for Texas in the third game of a four-game series that runs through Monday.

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