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Houston «2007000009160
Texas040100000591

Astros 9, Rangers 5

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Maybe the Houston Astros are ready to make another second-half run.

Eric Munson was 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBI and Craig Biggio passed Babe Ruth on the career hits list as the Astros beat Texas 9-5 on Sunday night for their second straight victory to end what was a miserable road trip.

"Just mathematically speaking, we need the wins in the win column. But we also need to go home with a good feeling," manager Phil Garner said. "This gives us a good feeling."

The Astros (40-42), who started the second half of their schedule, have the same record as a year ago when they went to the World Series after winning the NL wild card in the final game for the second straight season.

Houston was 1-6 on this trip before clinching the Lone Star Series against the Rangers. The Astros play their last seven games before the All-Star break at home.

"We want to get back on track again," Biggio said.

Munson, the designated catcher for Wandy Rodriguez (9-5), had a two-run single in the first inning and a bases-clearing double in a seven-run fourth. The Astros wrapped up the season series with a 4-2 advantage, taking home the Silver Boot trophy for the first time since 2003.

Kevin Millwood (8-5), who became the Rangers' No. 1 starter when he signed a $60 million, five-year free agent deal in December, left in the middle of that fourth inning with a strained right biceps. The Rangers said the right-hander would be re-evaluated Monday.

Millwood said the pain felt like a cramp, but didn't go away, preventing him from extending his arm and finishing his pitches.

"It feels a little achy right now. The doc doesn't think it's anything too serious," Millwood said. "It wasn't a sharp pain. It was kind of a dull ache ... I think if it was something serious it would hurt a lot more."

The last batter Millwood faced was Biggio, whose RBI single broke a 4-all tie and pushed him past Ruth for 36th on the hits list.

Biggio, the scrappy second baseman who has spent his 19 major league seasons with Houston, matched Ruth at 2,873 hits with a double in the second.

"To have your name associated with somebody like that, to me he's probably one of the best representatives of the game of baseball ever, is pretty nice," said Biggio, the designated hitter in the Astros' final interleague game.

Rangers outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., chosen Sunday for his first All-Star game as a reserve, was 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI doubles. Rookie second baseman Ian Kinsler had three doubles.

Lance Berkman, the only All-Star pick from the defending NL champions, was also 3-for-5 and four Astros had two hits. Houston finished with 16 hits, Preston Wilson the only starter without one after going 5-for-9 the first two games of the series.

Chris Burke and Adam Everett had consecutive one-out singles in the fourth before Willy Taveras' double sent them home to tie it. Biggio followed with the go-ahead single.

Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor visited the mound after Biggio's hit. Manager Buck Showalter and a trainer were then called out, and Millwood left the game after a very brief discussion.

Millwood allowed nine hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings, his second-shortest outing this season, with one walk and no strikeouts. The AL ERA champion last season (2.86) for Cleveland has a 4.83 ERA through 18 starts in Texas.

In his previous start Tuesday at San Francisco, Millwood matched a career high by allowing 12 hits in six innings. That loss snapped his five-game winning streak over eight starts.

Rodriguez also equaled a career high in his previous start, 10 hits allowed at Detroit. The Rangers got five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings against the left-hander, who struck out three and walked two.

Brad Lidge got the final out for his 20th save in 23 chances.

Munson was in the lineup to catch Rodriguez, not because of regular catcher Brad Ausmus being in an 0-for-31 slump and without a hit since June 18. Munson had four RBIs when he homered twice June 11 against Atlanta, another game Rodriguez pitched.

The Astros loaded the bases after Millwood left and Munson cleared them with his double into the right-field corner. Morgan Ensberg's RBI double off reliever Ron Mahay made it 6-4 before that.

Texas led 4-2 in the second after four straight run-scoring hits: doubles by Kinsler and Gerald Laird before a single by Jerry Hairston Jr. and a double by Matthews -- whose other RBI double came in the fourth.

Notes

Biggio was hit by a pitch in the seventh, increasing his modern day major league record to 278. ... The Astros and Rangers finished 7-11 in interleague play. ... Millwood's shortest outing was May 9 at home against Minnesota, when he allowed nine runs and nine hits in 1 1/3 innings.

 
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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Players of the Game
Houston

E. Munson
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 5
Texas

G. Matthews
AB 5
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, DH3121100
Mike Lamb, 1B5120014
Morgan Ensberg, 3B5211001
Lance Berkman, RF5130012
Preston Wilson, LF3100202
Eric Munson, C5035011
Chris Burke, 2B5110004
Adam Everett, SS5120000
Willy Taveras, CF4122000
Totals4091693314 
Batting
2B - Craig Biggio (, Millwood), Morgan Ensberg (, Mahay), Eric Munson (, Mahay), Willy Taveras (, Millwood)
RBI - Craig Biggio (), Morgan Ensberg (), Eric Munson 5 (), Willy Taveras 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - Eric Munson 5 ()
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Everett-Lamb, Ensberg-Burke-Lamb
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,-) 5.1755230
Chad Qualls 1.2100010
Trever Miller 0.2000020
Russ Springer 0.1000000
Dan Wheeler 0.2100110
Brad Lidge (S,) 0.1000000
HBP - Laird (by Chad Qualls)
WP - Wandy Rodriguez (), Brad Lidge ()
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 96-61, Chad Qualls 9-7, Trever Miller 11-8, Russ Springer 9-6, Dan Wheeler 20-12, Brad Lidge 5-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 7-6, Chad Qualls 2-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 25, Chad Qualls 5, Trever Miller 2, Russ Springer 1, Dan Wheeler 4, Brad Lidge 1
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF5042000
Mark DeRosa, RF5000016
Michael Young, SS4000020
Mark Teixeira, 1B4000020
Hank Blalock, 3B3100110
Kevin Mench, DH4000001
Ian Kinsler, 2B4131000
Gerald Laird, C3211010
Jerry Hairston Jr., LF2111201
Totals34595378 
Batting
2B - Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (, Rodriguez, Rodriguez), Ian Kinsler 3 (, Rodriguez, Rodriguez, Rodriguez), Gerald Laird (, Rodriguez)
RBI - Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (), Ian Kinsler (), Gerald Laird (), Jerry Hairston Jr. ()
2-OUT RBI - Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (), Ian Kinsler (), Gerald Laird (), Jerry Hairston Jr. ()
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jerry Hairston Jr. 1
DP - Young-Kinsler-Teixeira, Blalock-Kinsler-Teixeira
E - Scott Feldman (, Wild throw)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (L,-) 3.1966100
Ron Mahay 0.2333110
Scott Feldman 2.2200120
Joaquin Benoit 1.1100000
Akinori Otsuka 1100000
IBB - Pr. Wilson by Ron Mahay
HBP - Biggio (by Scott Feldman)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 63-39, Ron Mahay 20-10, Scott Feldman 52-29, Joaquin Benoit 11-8, Akinori Otsuka 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 4-5, Ron Mahay 1-0, Scott Feldman 3-3, Joaquin Benoit 1-2, Akinori Otsuka 2-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 19, Ron Mahay 6, Scott Feldman 12, Joaquin Benoit 4, Akinori Otsuka 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39298
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Bruce Froemming, Third Base - Mike Winters