The Texas Rangers’ elimination number is one after a fourth consecutive loss Monday, 11-2 to the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park.
The Rangers (76-80) fell six games back of the Minnesota Twins for the second wild-card berth out of the American League. Moreover, Texas needs to go 5-1 in its last six games of the season to avoid their second losing record since 2009.
The Rangers would be eliminated on Tuesday with the Twins win or Texas loss.
During the losing streak, Texas is hitting .178 with 39 strikeouts.
Texas managed eight hits on Monday, but none timely. The Rangers left 11 on base.
The Rangers provided the home crowd of 30,390 with a two-run lead, off Joey Gallo’s 39th home run in the second and Adrian Beltre’s RBI bloop in the third. But it lasted about as long as a meteor shower.
Andrew Cashner (10-11), who took the loss, gave up eight runs — all in the fourth — on six hits and two walks while striking out two over 3 2/3 innings.
Only one run, however, was earned during the fourth inning, or, better known as the road to perdition.
That’s when the game got away. Houston sent up 12 men up to hit and scored eight on two hits each by Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis, who had a run-scoring double, two walks, two errors, and a hit batter.
Gonzalez was 4 for 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Gattis had two hits and two RBIs, Alex Bregman had two hits and an RBI, and Tyler White, Derek Fisher, and Jose Altuve each had an RBI.
Altuve left after being hit by a pitch thrown by Texas right-hander Jose Leclerc. Altuve was diagnosed with a bone contusion. X-rays were negative.
The Astros are 96-60.
Carlos Gomez had two strikeouts, including one that annoyed him to no end.
Benches cleared in the Rangers’ half of the second inning in an altercation involving Gomez, a former Astros outfielder, and Houston pitcher Collin McHugh.
McHugh threw inside to Gomez, who exchanged glances and then words with the pitcher. Gomez began to walk toward the mound, and in baseball tradition, the benches and, a minute or so later, the bullpen charged to the scene.
Order was restored without hostilities escalating to Rougned Odor Level 5. Bench coach Steve Buechele walked Gomez back to the plate.
In May, Gomez, who played with Houston in parts of 2015-16, had to be restrained after Astros pitcher Lance McCullers threw behind Mike Napoli.
However, he seemed to be as angry with McHugh as McCullers.
“He is standing up in the dugout when he is on the DL and yelling,” Gomez said at the time. “If he has something to say, say it to me. He's not man enough to stand in front of me and say it. It's nothing personal, I'm doing my job. We can go out there and play baseball. They don't mess with us, we won't mess with them.”
Gomez struck out for the first out in the inning.