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May 11, 2013

Rangers 8, Astros 7 (F)

HOUSTON -- Yu Darvish didn't flirt with a perfect game this time around at Minute Maid Park, but he pitched well and received enough what appeared to be plenty of run support in the sixth inning.

The Texas Rangers turned a two-run deficit into a four-run lead with six runs in the sixth, and all were needed as they held on for an 8-7 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

The Rangers have won the first two games of the three-game series, and will go for a sweep Sunday afternoon.

But it appeared to be the Astros night the first five innings. Houston third baseman Matt Dominguez, known more for his defense than offense, homered twice off Darvish to give the Astros a 3-1 lead going into the sixth.

At that point, the Rangers were struggling against Astros starter Erik Bedard, who had worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning. But Lance Berkman singled to start the sixth, which ended Bedard's night, and the Rangers teed off on reliever Philip Humber.

Nelson Cruz had a game-tying two-run homer. Mitch Moreland followed with a triple, pinch-hitter David Murphy came through with an RBI double, Geovany Soto walked and pinch-hitter Leonys Martin had a two-run triple.

After Ian Kinsler popped out, Elvis Andrus drove in the sixth run of the inning with a single to center.

The scoring spree continued into the seventh when Berkman led off with a solo homer.

Darvish went seven innings, fittingly ending his night by striking out Dominguez. He allowed three runs on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. His seventh strikeout of the night was the 300th of his career, as he became only the second big leaguer, along with Dwight Gooden, to reach that mark in his first 37 starts.

The Astros threatened in the ninth, scoring three runs and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs. But Joe Nathan got out of it, ending the game by getting pinch-hitter Chris Carter to pop up.

-- Drew Davison

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