Leonys Martin hit a two-run double in a four-run eighth inning, and the Texas Rangers rallied to tie a season high with their fifth straight victory, 9-5 over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
Houston led by one entering the eighth before Adrian Beltre tied it with an RBI single off Josh Zeid (0-1). Wesley Wright’s two-out, bases-loaded walk of Jurickson Profar put the Rangers on top. Martin then belted a line drive to right field to score two and make it 7-4.
Matt Garza (2-1) yielded seven hits and four runs with eight strikeouts in seven innings for the win.
The Astros used five pitchers in the eighth inning alone, but it didn’t help relieve their bullpen woes. Houston’s relievers have given up the lead six times in the last 13 games and have blown six saves in that span.
Things have been particularly bad in the last three games, where they’ve surrendered 19 runs in 10 2-3 innings for an ERA of 16.04.
Jason Castro doubled and homered, and Brandon Barnes added a home run for the Astros, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Houston loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but came away empty-handed when Neal Cotts struck out pinch-hitter Marc Krauss to end the inning. He earned his first save.
Joey Butler had his first career hits on a pair of doubles for Texas in his first major league start.
Butler’s second double came with one out in the seventh inning. Profar’s RBI single got Texas within 4-3 before Houston starter Erik Bedard ended his night by striking out Martin.
Ian Kinsler walked to start the eighth and stole second base. The Rangers tied it at 4-all with Beltre’s RBI single to shallow center field which chased Zeid.
Josh Fields intentionally walked pinch-hitter David Murphy with two outs before walking Butler to load the bases and bring on Wright.
Things looked good for the Astros early. Castro’s 445-foot homer to the second deck in right field to start the second put Houston up 1-0.
Singles by Kinsler and A. J. Pierzynski sandwiched around a walk by Beltre loaded the bases in the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly by Jeff Baker tied it at 1 before a sacrifice bunt sent Beltre home to put Texas up 2-1.
Garza had retired six in a row before L.J. Hoes doubled to start Houston’s fourth. A double by Jose Altuve sent Hoes home to make it 2-all.
Castro’s 31st double, which bounced off the wall in left-center, scored Altuve to put Houston up 3-2.
Houston added a run with the homer by Barnes to start the fifth inning and make it 4-2.
Bedard allowed seven hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings and is winless since June 26.
Houston’s inexperience was painfully evident in the ninth inning, when Pierzynski bunted and rookie pitcher Jorge De Leon scooped up the ball and looked at Kinsler on third before throwing to first. As soon as De Leon looked away, Kinsler dashed home ahead of the throw to make it 8-4.
Murphy had an RBI double later in the ninth.
NOTES: The Rangers acquired OF Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox on Friday. He will join the team on Saturday. … Texas DH Lance Berkman, who has been on the DL since July 7 with left hip inflammation and also experienced pain in his surgically repaired right knee, will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. … Houston SS Jonathan Villar was out of the lineup for a second straight game with a sprained left thumb. Manager Bo Porter said he will not go on the DL, but he isn’t sure when he’ll play. ”He’s going to take batting practice and go through the whole routine and we will re-evaluate it after to see what degree of soreness if any and then move forward from there,” Porter said. … The series continues on Saturday when Texas left-hander Derek Holland opposes Brad Peacock.