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Young loses no-hit bid as Rangers hang on to beat Astros

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Chris Young relied on his fastball over and over, and the Houston Astros came away empty every time until Craig Biggio ended his no-hit bid in the sixth inning.

By the time the Astros broke through against the intimidating 6-foot-10 rookie right-hander, it was too late.

"When you have a lead after seven innings on our team, you can pretty much count on us getting the win," Young said.

Chris Young bounced back nicely from his worst start of the year, Michael Young homered twice and drove in three runs and the Texas Rangers held off the Astros 6-5 Saturday to end a five-game losing streak.

Rod Barajas homered for the second straight game, Alfonso Soriano added a two-run double and Francisco Cordero got five outs for his 18th save in 21 chances. The Rangers won for just the second time in 11 road games.

Texas is 1-5 on its trip. After Sunday's series finale, the Rangers return home for a four-game series against the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels.

"This has been a tough stretch for us," Barajas said. "For us to give Chris a lead and for him to shut them down was definitely nice."

Texas, 4-1 against the Astros this year, clinched possession of the Silver Boot trophy that goes to the winner of Lone Star Series. The Rangers won it in 2001 and 2004 on a tiebreaker based on runs.

Biggio and Lance Berkman hit two-run homers, and Morgan Ensberg had a solo shot as the Astros lost at home for the first time in nine games.

"We've had a couple of those games where we came back, but not all the way," said Astros manager Phil Garner, whose club is 1-32 when trailing after six innings. "We've got to get over that hump. I really thought today would be the day. We had good energy and I just thought it would happen."

Chris Young (7-4), who gave up season highs of five runs and 10 hits in a loss to the Angels on Monday, allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.

Brandon Backe (6-6) lost his third straight start, allowing six runs and five hits, including three homers, in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two in his first defeat in 10 career home starts.

Young had little trouble early with the light-hitting Astros. Their .244 team batting average, 568 hits and 270 runs coming in were all ranked last in the majors.

Young retired 17 of his first 19 batters, allowing walks in the fourth and fifth innings.

"He was outstanding," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "That's about as good of stuff as he's had."

Young didn't allow a hit until Biggio's two-out single to center in the sixth. The crowd of 41,868 at Minute Maid Park stood following the hit, which came on Young's 83rd pitch.

Berkman homered just over the right-field fence on the next-at bat, and Ensberg followed with another to cut the Rangers' lead to 6-3. Showalter came to the mound to settle Young down, and Young responded by inducing Jason Lane into a groundout to the shortstop to end the inning.

"Biggio is a great hitter ... he's going to get his hits," Young said. "But no way was I upset or emotional."

Showalter agreed, saying, "It didn't affect him. You could tell by the way he went out in the seventh and shut them down."

Biggio chased reliever John Wasdin in the eighth with a two-run homer that smacked into the brick wall behind the left-field fence. Cordero entered and finished the inning.

Notes

  • Michael Young had a multihomer game for the first time this season and sixth time in his career.
  • Ensberg set a club record for third basemen with 18 homers before the All-Star break.
  • A 30-inch silver boot was awarded to the Rangers following the game. It replaces the glass boot that was damaged when the Rangers brought it home after winning last year's interleague series at Houston.
  • The wives of Rangers and Astros players and coaches participated in a charity softball game, dubbed the "Diamond Boot," following the game. Astros pitcher Roger Clemens and Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser were the coaches.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Michael Young goes yard twice for his first multihomer game of the season.  (AP)
Michael Young goes yard twice for his first multihomer game of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

C. Biggio
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Texas

M. Young
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 

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Texas Rangers
David Dellucci, LF2100110 .262
   a- Kevin Mench, PH-LF2000002 .292
Michael Young, SS5233011 .323
Mark Teixeira, 1B2100220 .289
Hank Blalock, 3B4110023 .284
Alfonso Soriano, 2B4012020 .285
Gary Matthews Jr., RF4000001 .241
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Rod Barajas, C4111001 .253
Laynce Nix, CF4020000 .249
Chris Young, P3000031 .000
    John Wasdin, P0000000 .000
    Richard Hidalgo, RF1000011 .216
Totals3568631210 
a-lined out for Dellucci in the 7th
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (21, Backe)
HR - Michael Young 2 (10, Backe, Backe), Rod Barajas (7, Backe)
RBI - Michael Young 3 (37), Alfonso Soriano 2 (48), Rod Barajas (24)
2-OUT RBI - Rod Barajas (10)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
PB - Rod Barajas (4)
Texas Rangers
Chris Young (W,7-4) 7333142 3.21
John Wasdin (H,3) 0.1222011 1.38
Francisco Cordero (S,18) 1.2100120 3.56
HBP - Taveras (by Chris Young)
WP - Chris Young (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Young 104-68, John Wasdin 13-9, Francisco Cordero 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Young 7-10, Francisco Cordero 1-2
Batters Faced - Chris Young 26, John Wasdin 3, Francisco Cordero 7
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF3110000 .284
Craig Biggio, 2B4222011 .273
Lance Berkman, 1B4112011 .265
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3111111 .271
Jason Lane, RF3000000 .231
    Mike Burns, P0000000 .000
    John Franco, P0000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Lamb, PH1010000 .215
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
Adam Everett, SS3000112 .232
Chris Burke, LF4000011 .202
Raul Chavez, C3000001 .186
   b- Jose Vizcaino, PH1000000 .244
Brandon Backe, P1000000 .231
   c- Orlando Palmeiro, PH-RF3000020 .313
Totals33565277 
a-singled for Qualls in the 8th
b-flied out for Chavez in the 9th
c-struck out for Backe in the 6th
Batting
HR - Craig Biggio (9, Wasdin), Lance Berkman (5, C. Young), Morgan Ensberg (18, C. Young)
RBI - Craig Biggio 2 (32), Lance Berkman 2 (21), Morgan Ensberg (46)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman 2 (10), Morgan Ensberg (22)
Team LOB - 4
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (L,6-6) 6566273 5.31
Mike Burns 0.1100010 7.71
John Franco 0.2100110 5.14
Chad Qualls 1000010 4.24
Dan Wheeler 1100020 1.97
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 92-57, Mike Burns 11-7, John Franco 18-8, Chad Qualls 10-8, Dan Wheeler 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 9-2, Chad Qualls 1-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 25, Mike Burns 2, John Franco 4, Chad Qualls 3, Dan Wheeler 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41868
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Joe Brinkman, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Bill Miller