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Rangers stay in WC chase, Astros drop 11th in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre homered for the first time at home in more than a month, then got back to the Texas dugout to find his teammates seemingly nodding off.

"I can't blame them. It's been a long time," Beltre said.

His solo shot in the sixth put the Rangers ahead to stay in a 3-2 victory over Houston on Tuesday night that kept them close in the wild-card race.

"But hopefully that'll be the beginning of a couple this week," Beltre said. "Not because I hit a homer, but because it was a good spot to hit it."

With five games left in the regular season, Texas remained a game behind Cleveland for the AL's second wild-card spot. Tampa Bay is a game ahead of the Indians in a crowded pack.

The Astros lost their 11th straight game, their 107th overall to match the franchise record set last year.

Once Beltre started jostling a few of his teammates, they jumped up and started celebrating with him.

"The guys fell out and went to sleep because they hadn't seen him do something like that in a long time. He put them to sleep," manager Ron Washington said. "I was the only one who greeted him. That home run was huge right there. We certainly needed and it couldn't have got it as a bigger time."

Beltre's 29th homer snapped a 2-all tie with one out in the sixth. That came after Yu Darvish gave up the lead in the top half of the inning.

The AL leader with 193 hits, Beltre hadn't homered since Aug. 28 at Seattle. His last at home had been Aug. 20, also against the Astros.

Neal Cotts (6-3) struck out two in a scoreless inning after taking over for Darvish. Joe Nathan, the fourth reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 41st save in 44 chances.

Matt Dominguez homered for the Astros, and rookie Brad Peacock (5-6) struck out seven in six innings while allowing three runs and six hits.

"I felt like he threw the ball outstanding," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Even the home Beltre hit was a fastball down. You've got to tip your cap to him."

The Rangers are 16-2 this season against Houston, winning the last 10. It's the most wins Texas has ever had in a season against one team.

Darvish threw 101 pitches but failed to get past the sixth inning for the third time his five starts in September, even while going over 200 innings for the season. The right-hander also immediately gave up a Rangers lead for the fifth time this year.

Texas went ahead 2-1 in the fifth when Craig Gentry had a leadoff single before a sacrifice bunt by Leonys Martin and a run-scoring hit by Ian Kinsler. Gentry scored while third baseman Matt Dominguez cut off left fielder Marc Krauss' throw and threw out Kinsler trying to get to second.

Dominguez then led off the top of the sixth with a homer that ricocheted off the left-field foul pole. It was his 21st of the season, and third off Darvish.

Two batters later, Darvish was gone after walking Trevor Crowe, a .231 hitter, for the second consecutive time.

"I was just trying to survive each inning and try to do the best I can in that situation and that's it," Darvish said through his translator. "The most important thing right now is to win a game. I was able to keep us in the game, and that's all I can say."

Darvish struck out nine and walked four while allowing four hits in 5 1-3 innings. Twice this season, Darvish took no-hit bids against Houston into the eighth inning.

The Astros loaded the bases in the first on Jose Altuve's single and two walks, and Chris Carter's sacrifice made it 1-0.

"When you get a guy like that on the ropes you want to get three or four runs," Porter said.

Beltre drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and scored on Geovany Soto's single to tie it at 1. The big blow came two innings later, a shot into the left-field seats.

"Apparently I found out a way today. It's been a long time," Beltre said. "It felt good. It felt really good, I haven't had that feeling in a long time."

Notes

Texas won 15 games against Seattle in 2011. ... The last MLB team with at least 16 wins against the same opponent was Boston, which went 16-2 against Baltimore in 2009. ... Suspended Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, who would be eligible for the playoffs, was 5 for 15 with a homer in this first four instructional league games in Arizona. ... Rangers RF Alex Rios, who hit for the cycle Monday, stole his 40th base.

 
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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Adrian Beltre rounds second base after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Astros. (USATSI)
Adrian Beltre rounds second base after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Astros. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Texas

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

M. Dominguez
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jonathan Villar, SS5000031 .254
Jose Altuve, 2B5120001 .284
Marc Krauss, LF-1B3010122 .219
Matt Dominguez, 3B3111101 .245
Chris Carter, DH3001030 .224
Trevor Crowe, RF1000302 .231
Brett Wallace, 1B2000020 .220
   a-Brandon Laird, PH-1B2010011 .183
   Jake Elmore, PR-LF0000000 .246
Carlos Corporan, C4000014 .231
Brandon Barnes, CF4010030 .243
Brad Peacock, P0000000 .000
   Kevin Chapman, P0000000 .000
   Josh Zeid, P0000000 .000
Totals32262515  
a-struck out for Wallace in the 6th
Batting
HR - Matt Dominguez (21, Darvish)
SF - Chris Carter (5)
RBI - Matt Dominguez (76), Chris Carter (80)
SB - Trevor Crowe (6, 2nd base off Darvish/Soto)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Marc Krauss 1
DP - Altuve-Villar-Krauss
E - Carlos Corporan (6, Throwing)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brad Peacock (L,5-6) 6633171 5.18
Kevin Chapman 0.2100000 1.93
Josh Zeid 1.1100010 4.01
HBP - Beltre (by Josh Zeid)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Peacock 95-64, Kevin Chapman 9-7, Josh Zeid 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Peacock 6-4, Kevin Chapman 1-1, Josh Zeid 1-1
Batters Faced - Brad Peacock 24, Kevin Chapman 3, Josh Zeid 5
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B4011022 .274
Elvis Andrus, SS4000021 .271
Alex Rios, RF4010010 .279
Adrian Beltre, 3B2211100 .317
A.J. Pierzynski, DH4000001 .273
Geovany Soto, C3021010 .238
Mitch Moreland, 1B3010012 .234
Craig Gentry, LF2110010 .267
Leonys Martin, CF2010001 .260
Yu Darvish, P0000000 .000
   Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
   Tanner Scheppers, P0000000 .000
   Jason Frasor, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
Totals2838318  
Batting
HR - Adrian Beltre (29, Peacock)
SH - Craig Gentry (3), Leonys Martin (9)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (68), Adrian Beltre (90), Geovany Soto (20)
2-OUT RBI - Geovany Soto (15)
SB - Alex Rios (40, 3rd base off Zeid/Corporan), Leonys Martin (34, 2nd base off Peacock/Corporan)
Team LOB - 5
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Yu Darvish 5.1422491 2.82
Neal Cotts (W,6-3) 1100020 1.17
Tanner Scheppers (H,24) 1.1100120 1.88
Jason Frasor (H,10) 0.1000000 2.70
Joe Nathan (S,41) 1000020 1.48
WP - Neal Cotts 2 (3), Tanner Scheppers (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Yu Darvish 101-56, Neal Cotts 18-13, Tanner Scheppers 32-22, Jason Frasor 3-3, Joe Nathan 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yu Darvish 5-2, Neal Cotts 1-0
Batters Faced - Yu Darvish 24, Neal Cotts 4, Tanner Scheppers 6, Jason Frasor 1, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42267
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Chris Conroy, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Jerry Meals