ARLINGTON – The Texas Rangers are still waiting to get help, but haven’t gotten any as the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays continue to win.
But the Rangers are winning, too, and holding their ground in the American League wild card race. Texas completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros on Wednesday night with a 7-3 victory at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers remain one-game back of the Indians for the second wild card, and two games back of the Rays for the top wild card. They welcome the Angels to town for a season-ending four-game series beginning Thursday, and seemingly need to win out to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Rangers finished their season series against the Astros with an impressive 17-2 record against them. That, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise as the Astros are the worst team in the majors and in the midst of a 12-game losing streak.
Rangers starter Martin Perez allowed three runs over seven innings, and the offense broke loose for five runs in the fourth to pull away Wednesday.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning without getting a hit. Craig Gentry reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Elvis Andrus.
The Astros, though, responded by scoring three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Chris Carter had an RBI single, and Brandon Laird sent a two-run homer over the center-field wall and past Leonys Martin’s outstretched glove.
The Rangers answered with five runs in the home half of the fourth. Martin had a three-run double, and Ian Kinsler and Alex Rios added RBI singles.
Texas extended its lead to 7-3 in the sixth on a solo shot by Kinsler.
Perez earned his 10th victory of the season. Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria pitched the final two innings for the Rangers.
-- Drew Davison