July 28, 2018 / 4:01 AM / 4 months ago

Rangers sock it to Astros at Minute Maid Park -- again

EditorsNote: Tweaks throughout

Robinson Chirinos slugged his third home run against the Houston Astros this season, and the visiting Texas Rangers continued that power display in the later innings Friday, winning 11-2 at Minute Maid Park.

Chirinos delivered the decisive blow with two outs and a 2-2 count in the fifth inning, belting a fastball from Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (8-9) 404 feet to left field.

That pitch turned a one-run Astros deficit into a 3-0 Texas lead and came with Rangers left fielder Willie Calhoun on deck. Calhoun had struck out twice in two at-bats against Keuchel and did so again to cap the frame and complete the book on Keuchel, who had been 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in July.

Keuchel surrendered three runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts over five innings. He had 80 pitches on his ledger through four innings and was on the verge of escaping without any damage in the fifth before Chirinos belted his 14th home run, the first of three for Texas.

Third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa, a last-minute addition to the lineup after Ryan Rua was scratched (back), homered to left field off Astros left-hander Cionel Perez with one out in the eighth. Second baseman Jurickson Profar added a leadoff blast, his 10th, off Chris Devenski in the ninth.

The Rangers, who entered the series 4-16 this month, snapped a four-game skid.

Texas tacked on four more runs in the ninth after Profar’s shot and improved to 4-3 at Minute Maid Park this season.

Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo (5-1) carried a shutout into the sixth inning and departed only after issuing consecutive one-out walks to Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick. The Astros, playing without middle infielders Carlos Correa (back) and Jose Altuve (right knee), managed only two hits against Gallardo after mustering just one off Rockies right-hander Jon Gray on Wednesday.

Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis socked his 20th home run leading off the seventh inning, doing so against Rangers right-hander Cory Gearrin. Texas right-hander Eddie Butler, acquired on Friday from the Chicago Cubs in the Cole Hamels trade, worked a scoreless eighth inning.

The Astros bolstered their bullpen with the acquisition of Twins right-hander Ryan Pressly (1-1, 3.40 ERA) on Friday in exchange for two minor league pitching prospects.

—Field Level Media

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