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Houston at Texas

Scoreboard
Houston (30-34) «0000120205111
Texas (37-28)110100000370

Astros 5, Rangers 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hunter Pence led off the eighth inning with a tiebreaking homer and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 5-3 on Thursday night to avoid a season sweep.

Pence, who grew up in Arlington watching the Rangers play, hit the first pitch of the inning from Jason Jennings (2-2) over the center-field wall. Michael Bourn added a two-out RBI triple to make it 5-3.

After losing five in a row against AL West-leading Texas, the Astros avoided being swept in a season series of at least six games for the first time in franchise history.

Alberto Arias (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced before LaTroy Hawkins pitched the eighth. Jose Valverde worked the ninth for his third save in five chances, the last out coming when Pence made a sliding catch of pinch-hitter Andruw Jones' sinking liner to right.

Michael Young and Chris Davis homered for the Rangers, who wrapped up a 4-5 homestand that trimmed their division lead to 1½ games, the slimmest margin since May 14. The Los Angeles Angels closed the gap with a six-game winning streak.

  Rangers: Suite named after G.W.

Houston tied it with two runs in the sixth, when Carlos Lee hit an RBI single before Miguel Tejada scored on a passed ball by Taylor Teagarden. Rangers starter Vicente Padilla was done after that.

Padilla walked two in the sixth and failed to cover first on a ball hit to the right side of the infield that became a single. The right-hander had allowed two earned runs over 12 innings while winning his two previous starts.

Humberto Quintero was behind the plate for the Astros one night after Ivan Rodriguez broke the major league record with his 2,227th game at catcher. Quintero singled in Erstad with two out in the fifth.

Like Rodriguez did on his record-setting night, Quintero made a run-scoring throwing error on a steal of third. Nelson Cruz scrambled home in the fourth to give Texas a 3-0 lead.

Young homered in the first and Davis connected an inning later against Brandon Backe, who made his first start of the season.

Backe had made four relief appearances since returning May 28 from the disabled list after straining muscles in his left side during spring training. The right-hander started in place of Mike Hampton, who was put on the 15-day disabled list this week with a left groin strain.

Despite allowing three runs in four innings, Backe's ERA dropped from 12.00 to 10.38.

Wesley Wright, recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take Hampton's roster spot, threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings before Arias struck out Teagarden with a runner on second to end the seventh.

Notes

The Rangers' last 12 homers have been solo shots, their longest such streak since September 1986. The last homer with runners on base was Ian Kinsler's three-run shot June 5 at Boston. ... Kinsler was 0 for 4, hitting into double plays his last three at-bats. ... Astros manager Cecil Cooper said he was glad to have Rodriguez's record done. But he said Thursday "was a day he was going to get off anyway." ... Lee, usually the Astros' LF, is still hampered by a bad hamstring and was the DH the entire series. ... Houston had won a season-high five consecutive series before losing the first two games to the Rangers.

 
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
Texas

M. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

H. Quintero
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5021011 .295
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3100101 .256
Miguel Tejada, SS4110101 .341
Carlos Lee, DH4021100 .315
Lance Berkman, 1B4000114 .243
Hunter Pence, RF4111013 .326
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4020000 .231
Darin Erstad, LF4110014 .119
Humberto Quintero, C4121003 .300
Totals36511444  
Batting
2B - Darin Erstad (2, Padilla)
3B - Michael Bourn (5, J. Jennings)
HR - Hunter Pence (10, J. Jennings)
SH - Jeff Keppinger (2)
RBI - Michael Bourn (15), Carlos Lee (42), Hunter Pence (28), Humberto Quintero (9)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Bourn (7), Humberto Quintero (4)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
DP - Keppinger-Berkman, Pence-Berkman, Tejada-Berkman
E - Humberto Quintero (4, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe 4433102 10.38
Wesley Wright 2.2000230 6.06
Alberto Arias (W,1-0) 0.1000010 2.45
LaTroy Hawkins (H,4) 1200100 2.43
Jose Valverde (S,3) 1100010 3.97
WP - Brandon Backe (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 60-34, Wesley Wright 41-25, Alberto Arias 7-4, LaTroy Hawkins 20-12, Jose Valverde 10-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 7-4, LaTroy Hawkins 1-1, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 16, Wesley Wright 9, Alberto Arias 1, LaTroy Hawkins 5, Jose Valverde 4
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000002 .267
Michael Young, 3B4121010 .323
Hank Blalock, DH3000100 .247
Nelson Cruz, RF4110012 .278
David Murphy, LF3020100 .266
Marlon Byrd, CF4000003 .287
Chris Davis, 1B4111023 .201
Taylor Teagarden, C3000011 .228
   a- Andruw Jones, PH1000001 .243
Elvis Andrus, SS1010200 .260
Totals3137245  
a-lined out for Teagarden in the 9th
Batting
HR - Michael Young (9, Backe), Chris Davis (13, Backe)
RBI - Michael Young (26), Chris Davis (28)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Davis (9)
SB - Nelson Cruz (11, off Backe/Quintero), David Murphy (5, 2nd base off Wright/Quintero), Marlon Byrd (3, 2nd base off Valverde/Quintero)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Davis
PB - Taylor Teagarden 2 (2)
Texas Rangers
Vicente Padilla 6733340 4.79
Jason Jennings (L,2-2) 2422101 3.34
Jason Grilli 1000000 5.55
Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 107-64, Jason Jennings 27-18, Jason Grilli 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 9-4, Jason Jennings 4-2, Jason Grilli 1-2
Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 27, Jason Jennings 11, Jason Grilli 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25445
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 94
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Mark Carlson