John Henry, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers used three home runs, including a grand slam by Nelson Cruz to defeat the in-state rival Houston Astros 10-5 on Friday night to make a winner out of rookie Nick Tepesch for the first time in nine starts.
Cruz's bases-loaded slam in the second was sandwiched in between two-run shots by David Murphy and Adrian Beltre in the first and fourth innings.
Tepesch (4-6) worked five innings, giving up four runs, all in the sixth, on seven hits with a career-high nine strikeouts.
Houston catcher Jason Castro was 3 for 4 with a run-scoring single in the Astros' four-run sixth inning.
Beltre's homer chased Houston starter Lucas Harrell (5-9), who struggled with his command in issuing six walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Harrell walked four in the first two innings, including two straight to precede Cruz's slam.
Leonys Martin, who was 2 for 3 with a triple and a run scored, drove in Mitch Moreland with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 10-0
Houston finally got to Tepesch in the sixth and tried to get back in the game.
Jose Altuve led off with a single to left, followed by a walk to Brett Wallace. Castro drove in Altuve and scored on Chris Carter's two-run double.
Castro scored his second run of the game in the eighth.
Tepesch's strikeout total eclipsed a career high he set on May 12 against the Astros.
Russ Wolf relieved Tepesch in the sixth and pitched three innings, giving up three hits and one run – unearned – and one walk. Jason Frasor worked a scoreless ninth for Texas, putting down the Astros in order.
Frasor has retired 11 of 12 hitters he's faced in his last four appearances.
Ian Kinsler reached base four times, including three walks and a single, and was officially 1 for 2 in five plate appearances.
-- John Henry