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Houston at Texas

Houston (27-47)000200010371
Texas (39-35) «33100001x8120

Rangers 8, Astros 3 wire reports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Derek Holland and the AL West-leading Texas Rangers quickly settled back in at home.

After playing 17 of 20 games on the road, the Rangers got a pair of RBI singles from Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton's two-run triple off the wall in the first three innings Monday night. Holland pitched into the eighth for an 8-3 victory over the Houston Astros in the Lone Star Series opener.

"My offense is still doing the same thing they always do," Holland said after winning at home for the first time in nearly two months. "For me, just better execution."

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The Rangers, who scored more than six runs only once on their just-completed 3-7 trip, had a 7-0 lead after three innings against Houston and J.A. Happ (3-9).

"We were able to relax a little bit," manager Ron Washington said. "We did a good job against Happ, not chasing too many of his off-speed pitches. When we got pitches to hit, we didn't try to do too much with it."

Mitch Moreland had a leadoff homer in the eighth, a towering shot estimated at 455 feet that landed halfway up in the second deck of seats in right field.

Holland (6-2) allowed three runs and six hits with four strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings for his first win at Rangers Ballpark since beating Kansas City on April 22 - the left-hander had since made four starts at home without a decision.

Since a five-hit shutout June 4 at Cleveland, Holland had allowed 10 runs over 12 1/3 innings in two starts, both on the road.

Michael Bourn led off the Houston fourth with his 19th infield hit. Jeff Keppinger followed with a double before a sacrifice fly by Carlos Lee and an RBI single by Jason Michaels made it 7-2. But Holland kept the inning from getting any bigger, retiring 11 of the next 13 batters he faced (two walks) through the seventh.

"He did a good job, maintained his composure," Washington said. "That is a sign of maturity."

The Astros (27-47) dropped to 20 games under .500, their lowest point since September 2007, when they reached 21 games under. The only time Houston plummeted to 20 games under .500 in fewer games was in 2000, at 25-45.

Happ lost his fifth straight decision in a span of seven starts. He gave up seven runs (five earned) and eight hits over 2 2/3 innings, the left-hander's shortest outing of the season, before reliever Aneury Rodriguez threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

"We just never allowed him to get into a groove and get going," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "You want hitters and pitchers, you want 'em to get into a groove, get 'em going in the game, and we never allowed that."

Ian Kinsler reached on an error by third baseman Chris Johnson leading off the first and scored on Beltre's first single to put Texas up 1-0. Michael Young added an RBI double and Nelson Cruz a sacrifice fly.

Hamilton tripled off the left-center wall in the second and came home when Beltre singled again to make it 6-0. Craig Gentry chased Happ with an RBI double in the third.

"I think those same pitches when I'm ahead in the count are different swings. Obviously, the results weren't good tonight," Happ said. "I'd like to say I can forget about it, but that was a tough one for sure."

Beltre and Gentry each had three hits.

Michaels, who entered hitting .190 with three RBI in 35 games, had another RBI single in the eighth.

The Astros' first hit was Carlos Corporan's one-out single in the third. He was quickly doubled up when second baseman Kinsler made an over-the-shoulder grab of Jason Bourgeois' popup in short right with Corporan already running from first base.

Holland also had an impressive defensive play of his own, reaching toward the third base side to snag Johnson's liner to start the seventh.

"A great play on the mound," Young said.


Texas and Houston play six times in a span of 11 days when both teams have two days off. The Rangers have won 11 of the last 13 in their instate rivalry. ... Bourn got his major league-best 30th stolen base in the first inning. It is his fourth consecutive season with at least 30 steals. ... Hamilton has hit safely in 15 consecutive interleague games at home. ... The game opened a stretch of 16 of 19 games at home for Texas going into the All-Star break. ... Before Happ's early meltdown, Houston starting pitchers had a 2.17 ERA the previous nine games. ... The Astros finished 72-90 in 2000. Through 74 games in its 1962 inaugural season, Houston was 32-41-1.

Copyright 2016 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

A. Beltre
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

J. Michaels
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Houston Astros
Jason Bourgeois, RF4110002 .345
Michael Bourn, CF3110102 .280
Jeff Keppinger, 2B4120001 .311
Carlos Lee, DH3001003 .266
Jason Michaels, LF4022000 .210
Chris Johnson, 3B4000013 .242
Brett Wallace, 1B4000021 .303
Clint Barmes, SS3000110 .220
Carlos Corporan, C2010111 .154
   a- Angel Sanchez, PH1000000 .250
a-grounded out for Corporan in the 9th
2B - Jeff Keppinger (4, Holland)
SF - Carlos Lee (3)
RBI - Carlos Lee (37), Jason Michaels 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Michaels (3)
SB - Michael Bourn (30, 2nd base off Holland/Teagarden)
Team LOB - 6
PB - Carlos Corporan (1)
E - Chris Johnson (8, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
J.A. Happ (L,3-9) 2.2875130 5.33
Aneury Rodriguez 4.1200020 5.33
Mark Melancon 1211011 1.83
WP - J.A. Happ (3)
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 84-49, Aneury Rodriguez 51-40, Mark Melancon 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 3-3, Aneury Rodriguez 3-8, Mark Melancon 1-1
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 18, Aneury Rodriguez 15, Mark Melancon 5
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5100003 .235
Elvis Andrus, SS4110122 .279
Josh Hamilton, LF4222011 .291
Adrian Beltre, 3B4132000 .267
Michael Young, DH4011003 .307
Nelson Cruz, RF3011002 .236
Mitch Moreland, 1B4211012 .296
Taylor Teagarden, C4000021 .071
Craig Gentry, CF4131000 .271
2B - Michael Young (20, Happ), Craig Gentry (5, Happ)
3B - Josh Hamilton (2, Happ)
HR - Mitch Moreland (9, Melancon)
SF - Nelson Cruz (2)
RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (31), Adrian Beltre 2 (53), Michael Young (45), Nelson Cruz (38), Mitch Moreland (21), Craig Gentry (5)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (7), Adrian Beltre (22), Craig Gentry (1)
SB - Craig Gentry 3 (9, 2nd base off Happ/Corporan, 3rd base off Happ/Corporan, 2nd base off Melancon/Corporan)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Kinsler-Moreland
Texas Rangers
Derek Holland (W,6-2) 7.1633340 4.69
Mark Lowe 0.2100000 4.58
Darren Oliver 1000010 2.57
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 113-74, Mark Lowe 11-8, Darren Oliver 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 6-11, Mark Lowe 1-1, Darren Oliver 1-1
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 30, Mark Lowe 3, Darren Oliver 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41205
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 96
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Mark Ripperger, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg