Astros lose 11th in row, tie club futility record
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)
The Houston Astros quickly erased any chance of Yu Darvish taking another no-hit bid late into a game against them.
They got a run in the first and didn't lose to him, but still didn't beat the Texas Rangers while matching a franchise record for losses.
Adrian Beltre's first homer at home in more than a month gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory Tuesday night that kept them close in the AL wild-card chase.
Houston lost its 11th consecutive game, and its 107th overall to match last year's loss total with four games left.
The solo shot by Beltre in the sixth came after Matt Dominguez hit a tying homer in the top of half of the inning off Darvish, who was out of the game two batters later.
''We were up for the challenge against Darvish tonight,'' Astros manager Bo Porter said.
Darvish retired the first 26 Astros he faced in his season debut in April before Marwin Gonzalez broke up the bid for a perfect game with a single with two outs in the ninth. Last month, again in Houston, Darvish took a no-hitter into the eighth before Carlos Corporan homered.
This time, the Astros loaded the bases in the first on Jose Altuve's one-out single and two walks. Chris Carter's sacrifice made it 1-0.
''We had the bases loaded, and when you get a guy like that on the ropes you want to get three or four runs,'' Porter said. ''We were only able to get one.''
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.
Astros rookie Brad Peacock (5-6) struck out seven in six innings while allowing three runs and six hits. It was the right-hander's last scheduled start.
''I'm happy with my outing. I'm already ready to go. I wish I had a couple more starts, but I did finish strong,'' Peacock said.
Said Porter, ''I felt like he threw the ball outstanding. Even the homer Beltre hit was a fastball down. ... He was able to throw his pitches for strikes when he wanted to, and also to chase when he wanted them to.''
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 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.
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 interpreter. ''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.
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.
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 - his first since Aug. 28 at Seattle and first at home since Aug. 20, also against the Astros.
''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: The Astros' 11-game losing streak is their longest this season. They had a 12-game slide last season. ... The last MLB team with at least 16 wins against the same opponent was Boston, which went 16-2 against Baltimore in 2009.