July 4, 2018 / 4:09 AM / 4 months ago

Unlikely power carries Astros past Rangers

EditorsNote: Adds 9th graf on Choo, edits in 10th graf

Josh Reddick and Tony Kemp flashed rare displays of power, and the Houston Astros snapped a three-game losing skid with a 5-3 victory over the host Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Globe Life Park.

Reddick homered off Rangers right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2) in the third inning for his seventh home run of the season and first since a multi-homer game on April 21 in Chicago against the White Sox. Three batters later, with catcher Tim Federowicz on first base, Kemp blasted a two-run homer to right for his second homer and first since May 26 at Cleveland.

The Astros led 5-0 after the Kemp blast, but their offense dried up soon thereafter. Houston relievers Tony Sipp and Hector Rondon negotiated a perilous eighth inning in protecting the lead that the Rangers whittled to two runs before Rondon struck out Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Rondon returned for the ninth inning and completed the four-out save, his sixth overall.

Bibens-Dirkx allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings.

Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (5-8) benefitted from the early run support and worked seven strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. He led 2-0 before even taking the mound thanks to run-scoring doubles from Yuli Gurriel and Reddick.

Keuchel struck out the side in the first inning and retired the first seven batters he faced before surrendering consecutive one-out hits to Ronald Guzman and Delino DeShields in the third, with DeShields’ double to straightaway center scoring Guzman and slicing the deficit to 5-1.

Guzman reached and scored again in the fifth, doubling to right with one out and scoring when Shin-Soo Choo added a two-out single to left. Keuchel recovered and induced a groundout from Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus and allowed one additional baserunner over his final two innings.

Choo extended his on-base streak to 43 games when he walked against Keuchel in the third.

Astros catcher Max Stassi sustained a right hand contusion after being hit by a pitch in the first inning. He was replaced by Federowicz and is day to day after X-rays were negative. Astros catcher Brian McCann underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and landed on the 10-day disabled list earlier Tuesday.

—Field Level Media

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