HOUSTON (AP) — Michael Choice wasn’t able to get a hit in his first three games since rejoining the Texas Rangers following a stint in Triple-A.
For him, the fourth game was the charm.
Choice had three hits and he and Rougned Odor both hit three-run homers as the Rangers cruised to a 13-6 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
“He just needs to relax and trust his abilities,” manager Ron Washington said of Choice. “Let the ball travel like he did tonight and do his best to put the bat head on it instead of trying to force things.”
The Rangers were up by two in the fourth inning when Choice launched his ninth home run into the Crawford Boxes in left field to push the lead to 6-1. Odor connected in a five-run seventh inning with a shot to the seats in right field to make it 13-1.
Adam Rosales and Elvis Andrus added two RBIs each for the Rangers, who have the worst record in the American League and have won just five of 14 meetings with the Astros this season.
Ryan Rua made his major league debut and became the 59th player the injury-decimated Rangers have used this season, tying the major league record set by the Padres in 2002 and 2008 and Indians in 2002. He got his first hit with a single in the seventh inning.
Scott Baker (3-3) allowed six hits and two runs in 6 1-3 innings for his second straight win.
“They swung the bat well, but I’m even more happy with what Baker gave us,” Washington said. “We call on that guy for many things and tonight he got into the seventh inning for us and did a tremendous job. That’s where is all started.”
Jason Castro hit a solo homer in the seventh inning after hitting a grand slam in Houston’s 4-2 win in the series opener on Thursday night. Jose Altuve had two hits for the Astros to give him a major league-leading 184.
Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer (4-10) allowed nine hits and a career-high seven runs in 4 1-3 innings, in his second-shortest start of the year.
“Everything was falling, and I just wasn’t hitting my spots,” Oberholtzer said. “And they were putting a pretty good swing on the ball; they were being very aggressive and they put some pretty good swings on it.”
Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler was shaken up a collision with right fielder Jake Marisnick in the first inning, but remained in the game. Marisnick made a nifty play for the first two outs of that inning when he caught a fly ball from Alex Rios in right field and threw to third base to pick off Andrus.
Rios had a double in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a swollen right thumb.
Fowler tied it at 1-all with an RBI single in the first inning, but was out at second trying to stretch it into a double. Houston added three runs in the ninth when Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-RBI double and a third run scored on an error on the play.
Rangers: LHP Derek Holland, who has been on the disabled list all season after left knee surgery, will come off the disabled list and start on Tuesday at Kansas City. … OF Shin-Soo Choo had arthroscopic surgery on Friday to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. He is expected to be able to return to baseball activities for workouts by Nov. 1.
Astros: OF Robbie Grossman was out of the lineup after turning his left ankle on Wednesday night. Grossman said he was feeling better on Friday and they’re waiting for the swelling in his ankle to subside before he returns. … Reliever Darin Downs (strained muscle on his right side) struck out three in a scoreless inning in the first game of a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi.
Miles Mikolas was scratched after the game from his scheduled start on Saturday with right shoulder fatigue. The Rangers will recall Robbie Ross from Triple-A Round Rock to start in his place against Scott Feldman.
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