Kyle Tucker extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, and the AL West-leading Houston Astros rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Rangers reliever John King (1-3) retired only one of the five batters he faced. That was an RBI groundout by Yordan Álvarez on the pitch before Tucker hit his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot that capped the four-run outburst.
Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley opened the eighth with consecutive singles. Alex Bregman then hit a grounder to shortstop Corey Seager, who threw to the plate. The Rangers had Altuve caught between third and home, but he scored the first run of the inning when rookie third baseman Ezequiel Duran dropped catcher Sam Huff’s throw.
Bryan Abreu (4-0), the first of three Astros relievers, threw a scoreless seventh. Ryan Pressly worked the ninth for his 12th save in 14th chances.
The Rangers went ahead 3-0 in the fourth on a two-run homer by Nathaniel Lowe, who pulled a pitch that landed 416 feet away from the plate in the Texas bullpen in right-center in the fourth inning. It was his eighth homer overall, his seventh in his last 22 games.
Duran, who had never played above Double-A before his big league debut June 4, led off the third with an infield single and scored on Marcus Semen’s two-out single.
Texas had its three-game winning streak snapped, missing a chance to match its longest this season.
Dane Dunning pitched six scoreless innings for the Rangers, but is still winless in his last eight starts. The right-hander struck out four and walked four while allowing only two hits, both doubles.
Astros righty José Urquidy struck out four without a walk while allowing three runs over six innings.
Astros: Rookie SS Jeremy Peña returned to Houston to be evaluated by team doctors a day after he got hurt falling forward onto the turf when going after a bloop hit in in the third inning Monday night. Peña stayed in that game after getting checked out and flexing his left hand. Manager Dusty Baker said the injury wasn’t the left wrist that was repaired in surgery last year, but didn’t elaborate. He said the Astros were getting a second opinion after Peña was initially evaluated by Rangers doctors. ... Baker said RHP Lance McCullers had a “very encouraging” bullpen session that included hitting 90 mph. McCullers still hasn’t thrown any breaking balls in his recovery from an arm injury in last year’s American League Division Series.
Rangers: CF Eli White had surgery in which two screws were inserted into his fractured right wrist. He is not expected to resume baseball activities for 6-8 weeks.
The Astros were two players short with Peña back in Houston and right-hander Hector Neris starting to serve his reduced three-game suspension. The reliever was suspended after his ejection from a game June 6 in which he plunked one Seattle batter and nearly hit another in the head. Neris appealed, and a settlement between MLB reduced the discipline to three games without the case going to a hearing. The Astros are not permitted to replace Neris on the active roster during his suspension.
Astros right-hander Luis Garcia, 0-4 his last five starts, is scheduled to pitch in the series finale. The Rangers will likely go with a bullpen game in the spot of rookie right-hander Glenn Otto, who will miss his second consecutive scheduled start while on the COVID-19-related injured list. Otto went into protocols Friday, just before his last scheduled start.