Rodriguez Shuts Down Rangers Lineup As Astros Avoid Sweep

SB Nation Houston's coverage of the Rangers-Astros series from June 20-22nd, 2011

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Astros Drop Silver Boot To Rangers, Lose 3-2

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Ian Kinsler continued his power surge, smacking two solo home runs, including one to start the game, to lead the Texas Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros in the middle tilt of a three- game interleague series at Minute Maid Park.

Kinsler homered and had three RBI in Tuesday's 7-3 victory.

Andres Blanco had a pair of hits, including a double, while Adrian Beltre chipped in with an RBI single for the defending American League champs, who have won the first two games of the series and three of their past five.

Colby Lewis (7-7) tossed 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits while fanning six to earn the win. Lewis also chipped in offensively with a double.

Carlos Lee belted a home run while Clint Barmes added an RBI single for the Astros, who have lost five consecutive games.

Brett Myers (3-7) worked seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out four and walking two to absorb the loss.

"I made a mistake and they came out swinging the bats," Myers said of his performance. "I just had to make an adjustment. I was able to do that for the most part and tried to keep us in the game the best I could."

Neftali Feliz worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to earn his 16th save of the season.

Texas wasted no time taking the lead in its first at-bat, as leadoff man Kinsler blasted a 2-2 changeup from Myers into the left field seats for his 10th home run of the season. Blanco followed with a double, advanced to third on a Josh Hamilton groundout and scored on a Beltre single to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

The Rangers extended their lead to 3-0 in the third as Kinsler took Myers deep for the second time in the game on a 3-2 cutter that stayed out over the heart of the plate. It was Kinsler's 11th homer of the 2011 campaign.

"I just needed a good game honestly, it doesn't matter where," Kinsler said. "I just wanted to be able to help the team win. Colby (Lewis) did a great job tonight, and to put those two runs on the board early helped him out."

Houston's only offense of the night came in the seventh, as the Astros plated a pair of runs. Lee blasted a ball deep into the seats in left for his sixth homer of the year to cut the deficit to 3-1. The Astros added a second run on an RBI single by Barmes for a one-run game.

After giving up a double, Lewis was pulled in favor of reliever Darren Oliver, who got pinch-hitter Jason Michaels to ground out to preserve the slim lead.

Prior to the game, the Astros placed outfielder Jason Bourgeois on the 15-day disabled list and recalled Brian Bogusevic from Triple-A Oklahoma City...The Rangers' Michael Young had his 13 game hitting streak snapped...Barmes went 1- for-3 and is only two RBI short of 300 for his career...Texas is 8-0 at Minute Maid Park...It was Kinsler's eighth career multi-homer game. His last came on August 27th, 2009 against the New York Yankees.


 

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Jordan Lyles Gears Up To Face Rangers Again

(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers try to continue their mastery of the Houston Astros this evening when the Lone Star State rivals open up a three- game set at Minute Maid Park.

The Rangers have won four straight Silver Boot trophies, awarded annually to the victor in the interleague matchup between the two clubs each year. It hasn't been much of a rivalry, though, lately, as Texas took two of three from the Astros earlier in the year and has won the season series in each of the last two years by a 5-1 margin, while compiling a 12-3 mark against their in- state rivals since the start of the 2009 campaign.

Texas, which has also won six in a row in Houston, will be looking to get back on track this evening after losing two of three over the weekend to the New York Mets, including an 8-5 loss in Sunday's rubber match in Arlington.

Derek Holland (6-3) was knocked around for 12 hits and seven runs -- just three earned -- in six-plus inning for Texas. Michael Young went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in a losing effort.

"I'm not going to rack my brain thinking about it. I'm just going to expect we'll get better," Young said about the defeat. "We have a lot of good people in this clubhouse, a lot of good confident players."

C.J. Wilson gets the call tonight for the Rangers, as he tries to bounce back from a sub-par outing his last time out against the Astros. Wilson surrendered four runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings of that one, but escaped without a decision in his team's 5-4 win. He is 2-1 lifetime against the Astros with a 3.94 ERA in 13 games, three of which have been starts.

"C.J. didn't have his best stuff," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "But what you saw was the best he had in his heart. That's what good pitchers do -- they may not have it, but they learn to fight. And he was out there fighting the whole time he was out there."

Wilson is 7-3 on the year with a 3.17 ERA.

Houston, meanwhile, was swept over the weekend by the Tampa Bay Rays and lost a wild 14-10 affair in Sunday's finale. The Astros gave up seven runs in the final two innings of that loss and have now blown 17 saves in 27 chances.

"I feel terrible for these guys because we are in a situation we need to win these close ball games," closer Mark Melancon said. "I feel like I let the team down, which is tough."

Carlos Lee knocked in three runs, while Jeff Keppinger and Matt Downs homered in the loss for the Astros, who have dropped six of seven overall and six of nine against the AL this season.

Wilton Lopez (1-4) allowed four runs on four hits over 2 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.

Rookie Jordan Lyles gets the call for the Astros tonight and is still searching for his first win of the year. Lyles, who is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA, did not get a decision last Tuesday against Wilson and the Rangers, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.

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