Rangers 4, Astros 2
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
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
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
”He did a good job,” Washington said. ”Other than (one pitch
to Dominguez), he did what he needed to do, keep us in the
Chris Carter walked and scored on Dominguez’s 17th homer in the
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
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.