Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Astros 2
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers didn't need to get into the Houston bullpen, not after Adrian Beltre drilled a two-run home run off Astros starter Jarred Cosart in the sixth inning for a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.
Beltre again: Beltre turned the game around with a two-run home run to the opposite field with one out in the bottom of the sixth to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Ian Kinsler had walked in front of him. Beltre has 12 home runs and 36 RBIs since July 4. He is batting .406 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in August.
On the run: The Rangers made it six straight games with a stolen base when Alex Rios swiped second for his 29th of the season. Jurickson Profar added to the Rangers' total of outs on the bases this season when he was thrown out trying to steal second base in the bottom of the fifth.
Blackley goes four: Left-hander Travis Blackley made his Rangers debut and went four innings, giving up two runs and four hits. He threw 66 pitches, one more than the 65 the Rangers had targeted for him. Blackley fell behind two Astros with one out in the top of the second, and it cost him. He gave up a walk on a 3-and-1 count to Chris Carter. And again with a 3-1 count, Houston third baseman Matt Dominguez clubbed his 17th home run, a two-run shot to left field.
Cosart impresses: Cosart, the Astros' rookie ace, showed off his promise in his first start against the Rangers. The 23-year-old right-hander gave up three runs and four hits, and took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning. The three runs are the most he has given up in seven starts to begin his big league career.
Beltre, Rios combo: Beltre had a leadoff double in the second inning to set up the Rangers' first run. After a wild pitch moved Beltre to third, Rios came through with an infield hit to third base to cut the Astros' lead to 2-1.
Bullpen bulldogs: Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts combined for three shutout innings in relief from the fifth to the seventh, getting the game to the back of the bullpen. Frasor retired five of the six batters he faced and had three strikeouts. Cotts came in with two outs in the sixth and struck out Jason Castro to end the inning, then fanned the first two Astros he faced in the top of the seventh. After a two-out single by Houston rookie Max Stassi, Cotts got Brandon Barnes to ground out to second base.
Scheppers, too: Tanner Scheppers pitched the eighth inning after not getting in the game Sunday in a 4-3 loss. Scheppers pitched like a setup man. He did allow a one-out infield single to Robbie Grossman, but he bounced back for two quick outs to hold the lead at 3-2.
Up next: The Rangers and Houston end a three-game series with left-hander Derek Holland (9-6, 2.95 ERA) facing Astros left-hander Erik Bedard (3-9, 4.49) at 7:05 p.m. CT Wednesday on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.