HOUSTON – Matt Garza gave up multiple home runs for the first time since joining the Texas Rangers, but managed to keep the team in the game.
That’s all they ask for. And need.
The Rangers stayed within striking distance all night, and eventually pulled ahead on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Jurickson Profar in the eighth inning and went on to a 9-5 victory on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Rangers remain tied with the A’s atop the American League West. They have won five straight games, 10 of their last 11 and eight of 10 against the Astros.
Trailing 4-3 going into the eighth, the Rangers rallied for the lead. Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk, stole second barely beating the throw and then scored on a looping single to center by Adrian Beltre.
A.J. Pierzynski struck out and Mitch Moreland grounded out after that, but the Rangers put together a two-out rally against the shaky Astros’ bullpen that has now blown five of its last six save chances.
David Murphy, batting .224 on the season, was intentionally walked for the second time this season, and Joey Butler, starting his first game in the majors, worked a five-pitch walk to load the bases.
The Astros then turned to left-hander Wesley Wright to face Profar. With a 3-1 count, Profar fouled off three straight pitches before taking Ball Four to bring in the go-ahead run.
Leonys Martin then cushioned the lead with a two-run double down to right.-- Drew Davison