Prince Fielder says homer Thursday felt good
The Texas Rangers completed their record-breaking homestand with a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
The Rangers went 6-1 in the stretch and have won a club-record 10 consecutive home series, surpassing the previous record set in August-September 1993.
We talked about putting a foot down at home. Protect your house.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
Texas begins a season-long 10-game road trip Friday in Seattle. They’ll play four in Oakland before finishing with three in St. Louis.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre will make the trip despite straining his left hamstring on Wednesday. He’ll be evaluated over the next few days and is day-to-day.
“We talked about putting a foot down at home. Protect your house,” manager Jeff Banister said.
“We’ve done a good job of that so far but we have a long way to go … and we need to find a way to do the same thing on the road.”
If Beltre does have to go on the disabled list, it would temporarily solve the issue of finding a position for Jurickson Profar, who collected his ninth multi-hit game and extended his team-high hitting streak to 12 games Thursday while making his first start of the season at third base.
Shortstop, his natural position, is the only infield spot Profar hasn’t yet played since being called up from Triple A Round Rock on May 27. His infield single tied the game at 2-2 during a three-run third inning. Nomar Mazara’s single to left scored Bryan Holaday to put the Rangers up 3-2.
When you have an offense and defense like we have now you just go out there and enjoy the game. You don’t have to be scared to face anybody.
Rangers starter Martin Perez
Astros starter Collin McHugh left in the fourth after allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk.
“I think we’re doing exactly what we need to be doing,” said Mitch Moreland, who had two doubles, his first game with multiple extra-base hits since April 16. “We’ve got something special. This is a great group of guys and we continue to play well together. It makes it a lot of fun, so hopefully we continue to carry this over into the rest of the season.”
Martin Perez left with a 4-2 lead after six innings and 100 pitches. The Astros took advantage of two one-out walks to score twice in the third inning. He allowed four hits and four walks but retired eight of the last nine batters he faced.
“When you have an offense and defense like we have now you just go out there and enjoy the game,” said Perez, who improved to 5-4 with the win after allowing two runs in six innings. “You don’t have to be scared to face anybody. I just enjoy what I’m doing and I know they’ll support me the whole time.”
The Astros pulled to within 4-3 with a run against Tony Barnette in the seventh, which was aided by a throwing error by Profar that put the leadoff batter at second base.
We’ve got something special. This is a great group of guys and we continue to play well together. It makes it a lot of fun.
Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland
Reliever Chris Devenski held Texas hitless for 3 1/3 innings before Scott Feldman started the eighth. Rougned Odor’s homer to right-center field on a 2-2 curveball gave the Rangers a two-run cushion.
Matt Bush struck out three to work around a walk in the eighth and Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first career save.
“I think we’re just jelling right now,” Diekman said. “At home we just feel 100 percent comfortable. If that’s to our advantage then that works.”
Although Beltre’s availability on the road trip remains uncertain, the fact that he’s making the trip is encouraging to the Rangers.
“Sometimes there’s a time when the rest of the guys, they need to carry the load, too,” Banister said. “If the time is now for the rest of those 24 to carry the load for their captain, then so be it.”
The Rangers are 24-10 at home, the second most home wins through 34 games in club history. They have a 3 1/2 -game lead in the American League West on the Mariners, who they swept to start the homestand.
“We’re playing against good teams right now and we’re playing good baseball,” said Fielder, who hit his fourth homer in the fourth to stretch the Rangers’ lead to 4-2. “You want to have as much separation as you can and we have an opportunity to do a little more but it’s not going to be easy.”
Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST
Rangers at Mariners
9:10 p.m. Friday, FSSW