ARLINGTON – The Houston Astros intentionally walked Adrian Beltre twice on Monday. Maybe they should have stuck to that plan Tuesday.
Beltre became the first player to take Jarred Cosart deep in the big leagues, and his two-run shot in the sixth inning carried the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory at The Ballpark in Arlington.
The Rangers have won 12 of their last 15, and also improved to 13-2 against the Astros this season.
Travis Blackley made his debut for Texas, and pitched relatively well on a limited pitch count. He gave up a two-run homer to Matt Dominguez in the second inning, but that was all he allowed his former team through four innings and 66 pitches.
The Rangers pulled to within 2-1 in the bottom of the second on an infield RBI single by Alex Rios to score Beltre, who led off the inning with a double.
Cosart held the Rangers in check after that before issuing a one-out walk to Ian Kinsler in the sixth. Beltre followed by sending a 1-1 curveball over the right-field fence to put the Rangers ahead for good.
Texas cushioned its lead with a run in the eighth when Elvis Andrus scored on a wild pitch.
Four Rangers’ relievers combined for five scoreless innings after Blackley exited, including closer Joe Nathan who picked up his 37th save by striking out the side in the ninth.-- Drew Davison