Texas Rangers

McCormick's bases-clearing triple lifts the Astros over the Rangers 5-3

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Chas McCormick lined a tiebreaking triple with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, and the Houston Astros hung on for a 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

McCormick’s opposite-field hit over a racing Adolis García into the right-field corner came an inning after Aroldis Chapman made his Texas debut with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning.

Josh Sborz replaced the hard-throwing Cuban left-hander and allowed José Abreu’s third hit, an infield single, before walks to Mauricio Dubón and Corey Julks.

It was the first time in 26 outings this season Sborz (4-3) allowed multiple walks, and McCormick sent the next pitch off the top of the wall in the angled corner near the right-field foul pole.

After Nathaniel Lowe followed Corey Seager’s leadoff double in the eighth with a homer to get Texas within a run, José Altuve led off the ninth with his second homer of the series matching Texas rivals and the top two teams in the AL West.

Altuve homered to lead off Houston’s 5-3 victory in the opener of the four-game series. The Rangers answered with a 5-2 win.

Two days after division-leading Texas acquired him from Kansas City, Chapman was the most notable of nine relievers combined for both teams in a game the World Series champion Astros had to turn over to their bullpen when Framber Valdez was skipped because of soreness in his sprained right ankle.

Shawn Dubin made his first career big league start in place of the lefty Valdez.

The 27-year-old right-hander went four innings, allowing one run when García’s pop up down the line in right was caught by Abreu as the first baseman ran with his back to home plate. He turned and threw quickly, but Seager scored easily.

Parker Mushinski, who was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land while rookie starter Ronel Blanco went down, was the first of five Houston relievers to throw an inning apiece. Hector Neris (4-2) got the win and Ryan Pressly pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save.

Texas starter Andrew Heaney threw five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.

TRAINERS ROOM

Astros: Slugger Yordan Alvarez took batting practice in a cage for the first time since being sidelined by a right oblique injury June 8. He said his level of intensity was roughly 60%. The Astros have said he would miss at least six weeks. ... SS Jeremy Peña was out of the lineup a third consecutive day with a stiff neck. He said he expects to return soon.

Rangers: RHP José Leclerc (right ankle sprain) is headed to Double-A Frisco on a rehab assignment. He is eligible to come off the 15-day injured list Thursday.

UP NEXT

Houston RHP Cristian Javier (7-1, 3.72 ERA) is set for the finale of the four-game series against Texas lefty Martín Pérez (7-3, 4.28). Javier has four consecutive no-decisions, allowing 10 runs in 6 1/3 innings over his previous two starts. Perez won at Houston on April 14 to improve to 5-5 in his career against the Astros.

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