HOUSTON – Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz are two key pieces to the Texas Rangers’ lineup, but both were given the day off.
That didn’t slow the Rangers, or conversely help the Houston Astros. Every Rangers starter had a hit as the offense produced a season-high in runs in a 12-7 victory over the Astros on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
The Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Astros, the worst team in the big leagues.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch earned the win, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and a career-high eight strikeouts. He had the luxury of pitching with a lead all day.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Lance Berkman, and then opened the floodgates with four runs in the third against Houston starter Jordan Lyles.
David Murphy capped the four-run third with a two-run homer, and the Rangers went on to score three in the fourth and four more in the fifth. Leonys Martin led off the fifth with a solo shot, and Adrian Beltre added a three-run homer later in the inning.
In all, the Rangers scored a season-high 12 runs on 17 hits. The 17 hits were one shy of the season-high, as they had 18 against Boston on May 3.
Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman worked a 1-2-3 seventh, but Derek Lowe gave up four runs in the eighth. Joseph Oritz worked the ninth, allowing two runs.
-- Drew Davison