The Rangers and Astros resumed their Lone Star Series and it didn’t take long for the rivalry to reheat. A dugout-clearing skirmish in the sixth preceded a five-run Astros rally in the seventh that pushed them to a 6-2 win Monday night at Minute Maid Park.
How Rangers pitchers fared: Andrew Cashner allowed an unearned run in the first inning but held the Astros to three hits over six-plus innings. In the first, Jose Altuve scored after being hit by a pitch, stealing second and Nomar Mazara’s error on a fly ball in right on Carlos Correa’s shallow pop up. Cashner worked out of a jam in the second after the first two batters reached. Cashner fielded two comebackers, first on a play home, then on a play at second for the first two outs, before getting a ground out to third to escape unscathed. He zipped through the third on just five pitches and pitched into the sixth. He walked the lead-off hitter Alex Bregman and left after Elvis Andrus’ throwing error on a force at second base. That put two runners in scoring position for Tony Barnette, who replaced Cashner with no outs. George Springer’s infield single bounced just out of the reach of Barnette’s glove, allowing Bregman to score and tie it at 2-2. Consecutive doubles by Altuve and Correa gave the Astros a 5-2 lead.
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How Rangers hitters fared: The Rangers tied it at 1-1 with a run in the second. Mike Napoli singled with one out and scored on Elvis Andrus’ double to left.
Napoli’s 427-foot homer to center field gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Lance McCullers held the Rangers to two runs on six hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over and pitched 1 2/3 of perfect relief. Andrus was 2- for 2 with a double, walk and RBI. Michael Feliz started the ninth for the Astros but was replaced by closer Ken Giles after Rougned Odor reached on an E4 and Joey Gallo walked with one out.
Notables: The Rangers have scored two runs combined in Cashner’s four starts (21 1/3 innings) ... Rangers’ hitters struck out 12 times Monday after striking out 15 times on Sunday ... the Rangers committed three errors but only one of the six Astros’ runs was unearned.