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August 20, 2013

Wrapping up Rangers' 4-2 victory over Astros

Adrian Beltre is batting more than .400 in August, and has multiple hits in eight of his last 13 games. The reason for his success?

"I'm just getting lucky," Beltre said. "Balls are finding holes."

Well, Beltre didn't have great luck early on Tuesday. He sent a deep fly ball to right-center field with two-on, two-out in the third inning that ended up staying in the park and ending up in L.J. Hoes' glove. If the traditional Rangers Ballpark jetstream is in effect, that is likely a homer.

"I'm just getting older, that's why it didn't go out," Beltre said, smiling. "I was at least hoping the ball would hit the gap and fall and get a couple RBIs, but it didn't work out that way."

Beltre eventually caught a break in the sixth inning with the Rangers trailing 2-1. Ian Kinsler had drawn a one-out walk, and Beltre followed by sending a 1-1 curveball from Astros starter Jarred Cosart over the right-center field wall.

Beltre was able to make good contact despite the pitch being at least shoulder high.

"I was trying to make an adjustment and see a pitch a little higher in the zone," Beltre said.

It was the 10th go-ahead homer by Beltre this season, and the Rangers are now 21-3 when he goes deep.

Here are a few other postgame notes:

* The Rangers have won seven straight against the Astros, and are now 13-2 against them this season. "Obviously when you play an opponent like Houston, you want to make sure you play right and don't take your foot off the gas," Beltre said. "They've had some good games, but somehow we've managed to take those away from them. Like tonight, they're starter does good but we were able to score more than them and steal that win tonight."

* Travis Blackley made his Rangers debut, becoming the first Australian-born player in franchise history. He lasted four innings, allowing two runs on three hits over a 66-pitch outing against his former team. "My goal was to get through five, but I had a couple bad at-bats that went a little longer than what I would've liked," Blackley said. "They played me hard. They wanted to beat me as bad as I wanted to beat them. But it was a solid outing, I'm really happy with it."

* Four Rangers relievers combined for five scoreless innings after Blackley. Those four relievers -- Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan -- combined for eight strikeouts, the most by the bullpen since Sept. 25-26, 2012. Nathan struck out the side in the ninth for his 37th save, matching his 2012 total.

* Ian Kinsler went 2 for 3 with a walk and run scored. He has a run in five of his last six games. ... Alex Rios drove in the first run in the second with an infield single. That snapped a seven-game RBI drought. ... Elvis Andrus stole his team-leading 34th base. He now has 157 in his career, four behind Bump Wills for second in club history.


-- Drew Davison



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