However, the relief corps paved the way for Houston's offense to
deliver Wednesday against an American League West foe and in-state
Matt Dominguez recorded his first career walk-off hit, knocking in
Dexter Fowler from second base and lifting the Astros to a 5-4 win
over the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros (14-27) trailed 4-0 before rallying for two runs in the
sixth inning and two in the seventh.
With one out in the ninth, Dominguez, Houston's third baseman,
drilled a 3-2 fastball to right-center field to plate Fowler, the
Astros' center fielder. Houston was 1-18 when trailing after six
innings before Fowler reached on a single against right-hander Nick
Martinez (0-1) and advanced into scoring position when catcher Jason
"When these guys continue to battle the way they battle, and I know
sometimes we come up short, but as we sit there as a staff, we
always feel like we're one hit away," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
"Tonight, we were able to get those hits."
Silenced by Rangers starter Nick Tepesch, Houston rallied against
Texas' bullpen after Fowler chased Tepesch with a one-out walk in
Rangers left-hander Aaron Poreda faced four batters, and all four
reached base. Castro walked and Dominguez singled to load the bases.
Astros pinch hitter Jesus Guzman and designated hitter Chris Carter
followed with RBI singles.
Rangers right-hander Jason Frasor doused that fire by striking out
pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez and shortstop Jonathan Villar, but he
surrendered a leadoff single to second baseman Jose Altuve in the
seventh before right fielder George Springer launched a game-tying
two-run home run.
"I was just looking for something to hit," Springer said of his
third home run and first at home. "I wasn't trying to hit a home
run, just ended up hitting one.
"It's obviously big for me as a player. But just to help the team,
to tie it up and give us a spark I guess was obviously big for me."
Said Frasor: "I just didn't execute pitches that second time, the
Texas (20-21) dropped below .500 this late in the season for the
first time since ending 2009 with a 79-83 record. The Rangers lost a
series to the Astros for the first time since June 24-26, 2008, as
Houston won the final two games of this week's three-game set.
The Astros flubbed an early opportunity to pounce on Tepesch, who
made his season debut for Texas. He struck out the side in the
first, but only after Fowler (single) and Castro (double) reached
with two outs.
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Tepesch settled in, not allowing another baserunner into scoring
position through the fifth.
Texas, meanwhile, began pecking away at Astros right-hander Scott
Feldman in the second, with right fielder Alex Rios cranking a
one-out solo homer to left before catcher J.P. Arencibia and center
fielder Leonys Martin added consecutive singles.
Feldman escaped further damage in the second, allowed one run and
three hits in the third, and stranded two more baserunners in the
fourth before Texas added two runs in the fifth.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, third baseman Adrian Beltre and
first baseman Prince Fielder reached to open that frame. Beltre
plated Andrus with a single, and Fielder scored Beltre with a
double. Feldman departed trailing 4-0 after allowing a season-high
10 hits on 80 pitches over five innings.
Houston relievers Darin Downs, Paul Clemens, Tony Sipp and Chad
Qualls (1-1) were effective, allowing one hit over four scoreless
"They had to come in and pick up four innings for me," Feldman said.
"I did the old five and dive tonight. Obviously, the guys swinging
the bats did great, and we were able to pull it off."
NOTES: The Rangers were inundated with bad news Wednesday when LHPs
Martin Perez and Matt Harrison were placed on the 15-day disabled
list. Perez was diagnosed with a partial tear of the ulnar
collateral ligament in his left elbow, and he might require
season-ending Tommy John surgery. Harrison, who missed most of last
season after two back surgeries, is sideline due to by lower back
inflammation, and he might need additional surgery. ... The Astros
placed RHP Anthony Bass on the 15-day DL with a right intercostal
strain. RHP Josh Fields was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
... Major League Baseball retroactively credited Boston Red Sox DH
David Ortiz with a single on a play initially scored an error last
Friday against Rangers RHP Yu Darvish. Ortiz was the first batter to
reach against Darvish that game and later ended his no-hit bid with
a two-out single in the ninth.
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