|Texas (24-13) «||1||0||4||3||4||0||0||0||0||12||17||1|
The veteran manager was pleasantly surprised.
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"The type of team that I have this year, guys have been getting opportunities to play a little more than I have in the past," Washington said. "So I think they're more prepared and more ready to go up there when there's opportunity for them to play and do the job."
He was particularly impressed with Garcia, who had three hits and scored four runs -- both career highs -- to become the first Texas rookie to record both since Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2007.
"Leury Garcia was the one guy today that I didn't expect to make a whole lot of contact because he's the one guy that's in that lineup who hasn't been doing a whole lot of playing," Washington said. "He had a good game: scored four runs, got three hits, stole a bag, played good defense. That's what you like to have in extra guys."
Garcia was excited to contribute.
"It was awesome," he said. "I feel really good. I had a few days that I hadn't played but I was waiting for my time and I took advantage of it."
The Rangers set a season high for runs, and did it quickly. Martin led off the fifth with a home run and Beltre connected later in the inning for a 12-1 lead.
Beltre doubled twice and drove in four runs. He homered for the second straight day, hitting a drive that was originally called a double and changed to a homer after the umpires went to video review. Beltre connected off Edgar Gonzalez, signed by the Astros earlier in the day.
Beltre has heated up lately with 12 of his 23 RBI coming in the last 10 games. He's raised his average from .214 to .260 in that span.
"Outstanding. Certainly what we needed," Washington said of Beltre's day. "He's been swinging the bat well and that average is climbing and RBI are starting to pile up. He's my RBI guy, so I'm very happy."
At 10-28, the Astros are off to their worst 38-game start, according to STATS, breaking their 12-26 mark from 1967 and 1975.
Murphy's two-run homer came in a four-run third. Beltre hit an RBI double as the Rangers added three in the fourth, and Texas broke it open in the fifth.
Nick Tepesch (3-3) rebounded from two rough starts to allow four hits and one run in six innings, striking out a career-high eight.
The Rangers jumped on starter Jordan Lyles (1-1) for 11 hits and a career-high eight runs in four innings. He also balked home a run.
"I wasn't throwing the ball over the plate," he said. "I was missing by a little bit and missing by a lot, they hit me around pretty good, then I walked some guys, and they hit me around some more. The loss is definitely on my shoulders, and I've got to do a better job of competing."
Lyles was replaced by Gonzalez and he didn't fare much better, allowing six hits and four runs in four innings.
Lance Berkman extended his hitting streak at Minute Maid Park to 18 games with an RBI double in the first inning to make it 1-0.
Garcia singled to start the third, stole second base and advanced to third on an error by catcher Castro. Garcia scored on a groundout by Berkman.
Beltre doubled and scored on a one-out single by Craig Gentry in the third. Murphy then launched a 91 mph fastball into the seats in right field to extend the lead to 5-0.
Tepesch had allowed 11 runs and 14 hits in his last two games -- both losses -- but he was in control from the beginning on Sunday.
Carlos Pena singled with one out in the first inning, and the Astros didn't get another hit until Castro's homer with two outs in the fourth inning made it 8-1.
Martin opened the fifth with a towering homer to right field before back-to-back singles by Andrus and Garcia. Beltre connected on his homer and feel to his knee at the end of the swing before hustling to his feet. It was initially ruled a double, but a video review showed the ball hit on the center field wall above the yellow line and it was changed.
Castro had an RBI single in the eighth before Carter hit his team-leading ninth homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field off Derek Lowe to cut the lead to 12-5.
Barnes got Houston within 12-7 with a two-run homer in the ninth.
|Adrian Beltre connects for a three-run homer and doubles twice to lead the Rangers past the Astros. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Elvis Andrus, SS||4||2||3||0||2||0||1||.270|
|Leury Garcia, 2B||6||4||3||1||0||1||4||.286|
|Lance Berkman, DH||5||0||1||2||0||0||3||.298|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||5||2||4||4||0||0||0||.260|
|Jeff Baker, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.351|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||4||0||1||0||1||1||3||.291|
|Craig Gentry, CF||5||1||1||1||0||0||3||.235|
|David Murphy, LF||4||1||1||2||1||0||0||.200|
|Robinson Chirinos, C||4||0||1||0||1||2||3||.250|
|Leonys Martin, RF||5||2||2||1||0||1||2||.271|
|2B - Lance Berkman (9, Lyles), Adrian Beltre 2 (8, Lyles, Lyles), Robinson Chirinos (1, Lyles)|
|HR - Adrian Beltre (8, E. Gonzalez), David Murphy (4, Lyles), Leonys Martin (2, E. Gonzalez)|
|RBI - Leury Garcia (1), Lance Berkman 2 (18), Adrian Beltre 4 (23), Craig Gentry (7), David Murphy 2 (11), Leonys Martin (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Craig Gentry (5), David Murphy 2 (7)|
|SB - Leury Garcia (1, 3rd base off Lyles/Castro)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Adrian Beltre (4, Throwing)|
|Nick Tepesch (W,3-3)||6||4||1||1||1||8||1||4.03|
|Pitches-Strikes - Nick Tepesch 84-55, Michael Kirkman 20-12, Derek Lowe 31-20, Joe Ortiz 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Tepesch 7-4, Michael Kirkman 1-0, Derek Lowe 1-1, Joe Ortiz 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Nick Tepesch 24, Michael Kirkman 3, Derek Lowe 7, Joe Ortiz 5|
|Trevor Crowe, RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Carlos Pena, DH||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.230|
|a- Carlos Corporan, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.289|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.336|
|Jimmy Paredes, 2B||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.182|
|Jason Castro, C||4||2||2||2||0||1||2||.256|
|Chris Carter, 1B||3||1||1||3||1||1||1||.228|
|J.D. Martinez, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.203|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.291|
|Matt Dominguez, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.264|
|Brandon Barnes, CF||4||1||1||2||0||3||0||.322|
|a-struck out for Pena in the 9th|
|HR - Jason Castro (3, Tepesch), Chris Carter (9, Lowe), Brandon Barnes (2, Ortiz)|
|RBI - Jason Castro 2 (9), Chris Carter 3 (22), Brandon Barnes 2 (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Castro (5)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Cedeno-Altuve-Carter, Cedeno-Carter|
|E - Jason Castro (2, Throwing)|
|Jordan Lyles (L,1-1)||4||11||8||8||3||1||1||8.36|
|IBB - Murphy by Jordan Lyles|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Lyles 93-52, Edgar Gonzalez 57-42, Jose Veras 13-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Lyles 9-2, Edgar Gonzalez 1-6|
|Batters Faced - Jordan Lyles 26, Edgar Gonzalez 18, Jose Veras 3|
|Attendance - 19730|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg|