Thursday, May 15, 2014
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Astros Edge Rangers On Dominguez's Single

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[May 15, 2014]  HOUSTON -- Walk-off wins are hard to come by for the Houston Astros, no surprise given their league-worst record and maligned bullpen.

However, the relief corps paved the way for Houston's offense to deliver Wednesday against an American League West foe and in-state tormentor.

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 Castro walked.

"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 the sixth.

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 second inning."

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 innings.

"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.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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