Astros Break Losing Streak, Top Rangers 6-5 In 10
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Tanner Scheppers was expected last year to pitch one inning. As a first-time major league starter this season, Scheppers is painfully learning that one inning can ruin his day.
Scheppers allowed a five-run fourth inning on Saturday night to the Houston Astros, who beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 in 10 innings.
While the Rangers were able to rally from a two-run deficit with runs in the eighth and ninth innings after Scheppers left, the Astros pushed across a run in the 10th to earn the 6-5 victory.
“I made a couple bad pitches, and they took advantage of it,” said Scheppers, who allowed a six-run inning on opening day. “Again, I’ve got to stay away from the big innings.”
Jason Castro tripled with one out in the 10th, and Jose Altuve had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly to score the run that edged the Rangers to end a 12-game skid against their state rival.
Marwin Gonzalez, running for Castro, scored on Altuve’s fly off Rangers closer Joakim Soria (1-1).
Robbie Grossman’s two-out, three-run home run capped Houston’s big fourth inning that erased an early 3-0 deficit.
Rangers manager Ron Washington cited the Astros’ first base runner of that inning — Castro reaching on an eight-pitch walk — as the plate appearance that began Scheppers’ downfall.
“That’s the one that will come back and haunt him,” Washington said. “After that, they put some pretty good at-bats together.”
Michael Choice hit his first career homer in the ninth to tie it as Texas rallied to send the teams into extra innings for the second straight night.
Kevin Chapman (1-0) allowed Choice’s tying homer but was the winning pitcher. Anthony Bass pitched the 10th for his second save. Texas put runners on first and third with one out in the ninth before Bass struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff and got Choice to ground out to first base.
Shin-Soo Choo came into the game having reached base 12 of his previous 16 plate appearances but struck out all five times up, including with the winning run at second base with two out in the ninth.
Houston starter Jarred Cosart shut down Texas after allowing three runs in the first four innings, limiting the Rangers to six hits while striking out a career-high eight in seven innings.
The Rangers pulled within one in the eighth when Alex Rios’ double off the wall in left center scored Elvis Andrus with none out. But Rios was thrown out trying to steal third with Prince Fielder at the plate, and Texas didn’t threaten again.
“Sometimes you try to make things easier,” Rios said, “and you make them a little harder.”
Texas scored five batters in but left two on in the first inning. Cosart retired 10 of the last 11 batters that he faced.
The Rangers’ streak against Houston was the longest streak in the majors between any two teams. Texas has won 18 of 21 meetings over Houston since the beginning of last season, when the state rivals became intradivision foes with the Astros moving from the National League into the American League West.
NOTES: Rangers GM Jon Daniels said the club is leaning toward placing 3B Adrian Beltre on the disabled list and should decide by Monday. Beltre has been sidelined since Tuesday with a strained left quad. … Houston called up RHP Paul Clemens from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed RHP Scott Feldman on the bereavement list. Astros manager Bo Porter said Feldman, who pitched Friday after his father, Marshall, died Wednesday, could miss a start. … Texas acquired RHP pitcher Hector Noesi on Saturday from Seattle for a player to be named later or cash considerations.