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Texas at Houston

Scoreboard
Texas (17-27) «13002012514181
Houston (21-22)010000000161

Teixeira, Diaz help Rangers break out, blast Astros with six HRs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Mark Teixeira calls Ramon Vazquez the "Ignitor." The veteran infielder lived up to the nickname Sunday.

Vazquez had one of Texas' season-high six home runs and drove in a career-high five runs, and Teixeira and Victor Diaz both hit a pair of homers to lead the Rangers to a 14-1 win over the Houston Astros.

The emergence of Vazquez, called up May 17 from Triple-A Oklahoma, could be big for a team without third baseman Hank Blalock for 10-to-12 weeks.

"He comes in here and kind of lights the fire under us and hopefully he's going to keep doing that because his bat would be huge filling in for Hank," Teixeira said.

Teixeira and Diaz each had three RBI to help the Rangers win their second series in the last nine and rebound from Saturday's one-run performance. The 14 runs tied a season high for Texas and the series win is its first on the road this year.

Vazquez hit a two-run homer in the second inning and an RBI single in the fifth, and Diaz hit home runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Diaz entered batting .056 with no home runs or RBI in seven previous career interleague games.

Vazquez added a pair of RBI on a double in the ninth. Kenny Lofton also hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Rangers.

"This is an opportunity and he's taking advantage of it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Vazquez. "He knows what he's capable of doing and he's never going to get out of it."

Vazquez said he tries not to worry too much about whether he'll got the nod at third base full-time while Blalock's out.

"I just want to go out there and play good whenever they give me the chance and whatever happens, happens," he said. "I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help win ballgames."

Brandon McCarthy (4-4) allowed four hits and one run in six innings to win his career-best third straight decision. He struck out two and walked two.

"He hit his spots and used his fastball," Washington said. "He's just been outstanding the whole month of May."

McCarthy said the early run support helped calm him down after a frazzling morning in which he overslept by three hours.

"I was running all over. I was completely panicked," he said. "Got out to the mound and felt awful and I just thought it was going to be one of those days. So to get the run support early was really nice."

It was a forgettable outing for Houston starter Woody Williams (1-6), who gave up eight hits and five runs, including three homers, in four innings.

"I've never been through anything like this," the 40-year-old Williams said. "This is the worst stretch of my career."

Teixeira broke an 0-for-8 streak in the series with a solo homer that landed in the bullpen in right-center field in the first inning. Teixeira, who tied a career high with four hits, added an RBI single in the eighth and hit a solo homer in the five-run ninth.

Gerald Laird's run-scoring double that bounced just below the line on the left-field wall put Texas ahead 2-0 in the second.

Vazquez followed with his two-run homer to right field that sailed just over the head of a leaping Luke Scott and elicited boos from the crowd. It was the second homer of the series for Vazquez.

The third homer of the day, a 367-foot shot to right field by Diaz, put Texas ahead 5-1 and chased Williams with no outs in the fifth. The third RBI for Diaz came on a single in the eighth that score Lofton.

"It's just an opportunity to go out there, have fun, help the team win and play good offense and defense," Diaz said. "I have to take advantage of the opportunity that Washington gives me."

It was the eighth time this season the Rangers have hit three or more homers in a game.

When Hunter Pence got Houston's first hit, a triple with one out in the second, the rookie got a standing ovation. He later scored Houston's only run on a groundout by Scott.

Pence, who has an eight-game hitting streak, also had a double in the fourth.

Notes

  • The Rangers are 7-17 on the road this season.
  • The 14 runs scored by Texas are the most allowed by Houston this season.
  • The six homers Houston allowed are the most the Astros have given up since May 2005 when the Rangers hit eight.
 
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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Mark Teixeira hits solo home runs in the first and ninth innings and has eight dingers on the year.  (AP)
Mark Teixeira hits solo home runs in the first and ninth innings and has eight dingers on the year. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Teixeira
AB 6
R 2
H 4
HR 2
RBI 3
Texas

V. Diaz
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Texas Rangers
Kenny Lofton, CF4212201 .246
Michael Young, SS6000025 .228
Mark Teixeira, 1B6243013 .299
Victor Diaz, RF5243010 .308
    Wes Littleton, P1000010 .000
Nelson Cruz, LF5110014 .207
Ian Kinsler, 2B4220002 .239
Gerald Laird, C4231100 .230
Ramon Vazquez, 3B3335200 .750
Brandon McCarthy, P2000021 .000
    Joaquin Benoit, P0000000 .000
   a- Travis Metcalf, PH0000100 .000
    Kevin Mahar, RF1000001 .214
Totals4114181468  
a-walked for Benoit in the 8th
Batting
2B - Nelson Cruz (6, Williams), Gerald Laird (4, Williams), Ramon Vazquez (1, Moehler)
HR - Kenny Lofton (4, Moehler), Mark Teixeira 2 (8, Williams, Moehler), Victor Diaz 2 (5, Williams, White), Ramon Vazquez (2, Williams)
SH - Ian Kinsler (5), Brandon McCarthy (1)
RBI - Kenny Lofton 2 (12), Mark Teixeira 3 (26), Victor Diaz 3 (9), Gerald Laird (9), Ramon Vazquez 5 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira 3 (9), Victor Diaz (2)
SB - Kenny Lofton (14, 2nd base off Williams/Quintero)
CS - Kenny Lofton 2 (3, 2nd base by Williams/Quintero, 3rd base by Williams/Quintero)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Ian Kinsler (10, Missed catch of throw)
Texas Rangers
Brandon McCarthy (W,4-4) 6411220 5.82
Joaquin Benoit 1000030 3.74
Wes Littleton 2200000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon McCarthy 100-63, Joaquin Benoit 14-9, Wes Littleton 36-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon McCarthy 6-10, Wes Littleton 6-1
Batters Faced - Brandon McCarthy 24, Joaquin Benoit 3, Wes Littleton 9
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B4000001 .240
    Adam Everett, SS0000000 .190
Mark Loretta, SS-2B4010001 .338
Lance Berkman, 1B3000101 .272
Carlos Lee, LF3000102 .311
Mike Lamb, 3B4010001 .339
Hunter Pence, CF4120002 .364
Luke Scott, RF4011011 .237
Humberto Quintero, C4010010 .235
Woody Williams, P1000010 .136
    Rick White, P1000011 .000
   a- Jason Lane, PH1000010 .194
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .250
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000002 .148
Totals3416125  
a-struck out for White in the 7th
b-flied out for Moehler in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mark Loretta (4, McCarthy), Hunter Pence (6, McCarthy)
3B - Hunter Pence (3, McCarthy)
RBI - Luke Scott (24)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Mike Lamb (4, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Woody Williams (L,1-6) 4855353 5.52
Rick White 3322111 2.14
Trever Miller 0.2122210 5.54
Brian Moehler 1.1655012 6.43
Pitches-Strikes - Woody Williams 76-46, Rick White 38-25, Trever Miller 23-11, Brian Moehler 28-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Woody Williams 3-3, Rick White 4-3, Trever Miller 1-0, Brian Moehler 1-2
Batters Faced - Woody Williams 22, Rick White 12, Trever Miller 5, Brian Moehler 10
Game Information
Attendance - 39938
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Rick Reed