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Houston (41-84)020000000260
Texas (73-53) «01000201x461

Rangers 4, Astros 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre just keeps chugging along for the Texas Rangers. He's making it look oh so easy, too.

Beltre doubled and scored in the second inning, and then hit a two-run homer in the sixth to power AL West-leading Texas to a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

"This is what I'm supposed to be doing, right?" Beltre said. "I've been feeling better lately. Definitely."

Beltre's 26th homer came against rookie right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-1) and lifted Texas into a 3-2 lead. It was his 160th hit, one behind Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead.

"The only way I can really describe it, he's the MVP. He's having an MVP-caliber season," Ian Kinsler said. "He's one of the best players in the league on one of the best teams, and he does it night in and night out."

Beltre is hitting .434 (33 of 76) over his last 21 games, raising his season average 19 points to .326, third in the American League.

After a leadoff double in the second, Beltre went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield single by Alex Rios.

"He's been swinging the bat extremely well and been getting it done in situations when we really need him to get it done," manager Ron Washington said. "That's what Beltre is about, and it seems like every time we go down the stretch, he's right there ready to do it"

Matt Dominguez homered for Houston, which has lost seven in row and 13 of 14 against the Rangers.

Neal Cotts (5-2) struck out the first three batters he faced over 1 1-3 innings and was credited with the win. The lefty was the second reliever after Travis Blackley pitched four innings against his former team a week after being traded to Texas.

Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth for his 37th save in 39 chances.

Cosart allowed three runs over six innings, raising his ERA from 1.15 to 1.60. It was the first time in his seven major league starts that he yielded more than two runs.

"I thought command-wise, it was my best game," Cosart said. "I had command of two pitches, fastball and curve, and didn't have to use my changeup. They couldn't sit on one pitch."

Texas was down 2-1 when Kinsler drew a one-out walk in the sixth. Beltre then hit a drive to right for the first homer surrendered by Cosart in his 45 major league innings -- and one that had the 23-year-old biting his glove in disgust.

"That pitch was at his head. It wasn't even a strike," Cosart said. "I didn't think he would swing at it."

Blackley was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock to start in place of right-hander Alexi Ogando, who was put on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The 30-year-old Australian, who made 42 relief appearances for Houston, allowed three hits and two runs. The Rangers expected for him to throw around 65 pitches, and he threw 66, 42 for strikes.

"He did a good job," Washington said. "Other than (one pitch to Dominguez), he did what he needed to do, keep us in the game."

Chris Carter walked and scored on Dominguez's 17th homer in the second.

There were 11 pitches in the first, including a hard shot by L.J. Hoes that ricocheted off Blackley's foot toward the third base line. Jurickson Profar made a barehanded grab and threw in one motion to retire Hoes.

Astros manager Bo Porter quickly came out to unsuccessfully argue with umpire Lance Barksdale that Profar's throw pulled first baseman Mitch Moreland off the bag. Under the expansion of video review planned for next season, it was the kind of challenge Porter may have won.

Max Stassi, called up from Double-A Corpus Christi earlier Tuesday, made his major league debut as the designated hitter and got a single in the fifth. He also will remember what happened after the first of his two hits.

A comebacker by Marwin Gonzalez was snagged by reliever Jason Frasor, who turned and made a high throw that went off shortstop Andrus' glove and caught by second baseman Kinsler backing up the play. But Stassi, apparently thinking he was already out, wandered off second base and was tagged by Kinsler.

"He told me, `Bo, this never happened to me in no league, and it's not going to happen again,'" Porter said. "I told him if you are a forceout, you don't leave the base until the umpire says you're out."

Notes

Stassi, a catcher, was called up after C Carlos Corporan was put on the seven-day concussion DL after being hit in the mask by a foul tip Monday night. Corporan was returning to Houston to see a specialist.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

A. Beltre
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

M. Dominguez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Robbie Grossman, LF4020011 .265
L.J. Hoes, RF4000002 .296
Jose Altuve, 2B4000001 .275
Jason Castro, C4010020 .270
Chris Carter, 1B3100131 .213
Matt Dominguez, 3B4112021 .238
Max Stassi, DH3020010 .667
Brandon Barnes, CF3000012 .230
Marwin Gonzalez, SS3000001 .225
Totals32262110  
Batting
HR - Matt Dominguez (17, Blackley)
RBI - Matt Dominguez 2 (62)
Team LOB - 4
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jarred Cosart (L,1-1) 6433331 1.60
Kevin Chapman 1.1000000 0.00
Josh Zeid 0.2211110 7.71
IBB - Pierzynski by Josh Zeid
WP - Jarred Cosart (3), Josh Zeid (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jarred Cosart 112-63, Kevin Chapman 14-9, Josh Zeid 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarred Cosart 9-5, Kevin Chapman 1-3
Batters Faced - Jarred Cosart 24, Kevin Chapman 4, Josh Zeid 5
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Leonys Martin, CF4000010 .276
Elvis Andrus, SS3110100 .257
Ian Kinsler, 2B3120100 .269
Adrian Beltre, DH4222012 .326
A.J. Pierzynski, C3000111 .282
Alex Rios, RF4011002 .276
Mitch Moreland, 1B3000011 .242
Jurickson Profar, 3B2000101 .241
David Murphy, LF2000001 .222
   a-Craig Gentry, PH-LF1000000 .247
Totals2946344  
a-fouled out for Murphy in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adrian Beltre (26, Cosart)
HR - Adrian Beltre (26, Cosart)
RBI - Adrian Beltre 2 (78), Alex Rios (58)
SB - Elvis Andrus (34, 3rd base off Zeid/Castro), Ian Kinsler (9, 2nd base off Zeid/Castro), Alex Rios (29, 2nd base off Cosart/Castro)
CS - Jurickson Profar (4, 2nd base by Cosart/Castro)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Moreland
E - Jason Frasor (1, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Travis Blackley 4322121 4.85
Jason Frasor 1.2100020 2.77
Neal Cotts (W,5-2) 1.1100030 1.30
Tanner Scheppers (H,22) 1100000 1.76
Joe Nathan (S,37) 1000030 1.60
WP - Travis Blackley (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Travis Blackley 66-42, Jason Frasor 25-19, Neal Cotts 23-17, Tanner Scheppers 18-11, Joe Nathan 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Travis Blackley 4-5, Jason Frasor 3-0, Neal Cotts 1-0, Tanner Scheppers 1-2
Batters Faced - Travis Blackley 15, Jason Frasor 6, Neal Cotts 5, Tanner Scheppers 4, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39009
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 94
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom