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August 21, 2013

Rangers 5, Astros 4 (F)

ARLINGTON -- Elvis Andrus laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt earlier in the game, but his most memorable at-bat came in the ninth inning with the bases loaded.

With the Houston Astros going to a five-man infield, Andrus lined a sacrifice fly to left-center field and Adam Rosales scored easily to send the Rangers' to a 5-4 walk-off victory on Wednesday night.

The Rangers swept the three-game series from the Astros, and have won their last eight games against the worst team in the majors. Texas also pushed its lead to 2 ½ games over Oakland in the American League West.

With the game tied 4-4 in the ninth, Mitch Moreland led off with a single to center off Astros right-hander Chia-Jen Lo. Rosales pinch-ran for Moreland, and went to second after Jurickson Profar drew a walk. Craig Gentry popped out, but Leonys  Martin drew a walk to load the bases.

That brought up Andrus and brought in the Astros' infield. But Andrus lined a shot to left and Rosales scored without a play at the plate.

Gentry, despite the pop up in the ninth, had quite a night. He scored a season-high three runs, including one on a suicide squeeze in the seventh and another on a solo homer in the third.

Rangers starter Derek Holland pitched well until his final inning, allowing two runs on four hits over six-plus innings.

The Rangers had a 4-2 lead going to the eighth, but the Astros scored two runs off Tanner Scheppers to tie it at 4-4, marking the Rangers’ eighth blown save this season.

Scheppers had an interesting inning that included a scary incident when he hit Max Stassi with a 96 mph fastball in the head. The pitch appeared to hit the ear piece of Stassi’s helmet, and he exited the game under his own power.

That hit by pitch scored the game-tying run for the Astros in the eighth, as the Rangers called on Jason Frasor to end the inning.

-- Drew Davison

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