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Chirinos hits 2-run homer as Rangers beat Astros 11-2

July 28, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) — Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run homer and Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jurickson Profar added solo shots as the Texas Rangers romped to a lopsided 11-2 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

The victory snapped a franchise-long eight-game losing streak to the Astros and ended a four-game skid overall.

The Rangers led by a run in the fifth inning with two out and one on when Chirinos sent a fastball from Dallas Keuchel (8-9) onto the train tracks atop left field to make it 3-0. It was the first homer Keuchel had allowed since giving up three to the Mariners on June 5.

Shin-Soo Cho hit an RBI triple in the sixth and the Rangers made it 5-0 when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Profar.

Evan Gattis hit his 20th homer in the seventh inning for Houston’s first run on a night the team played without reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve, who sat out after leaving Wednesday’s game with a sore right knee. The Astros managed just six hits and were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

Kiner-Falefa’s shot to the seats in left field came in the eighth inning to make it 6-1.

Texas starter Yovani Gallardo (5-1) allowed two hits while walking four in 5 1-3 scoreless innings for his second straight win.

Keuchel gave up six hits and three runs in five innings to end a season-long five-game winning streak. The left-hander had bounced back from a tough start to the season and had pitched well lately, allowing just four runs combined in his previous four starts.

Profar’s homer came on the first pitch of a ninth inning where the Rangers tacked on five more runs to extend the lead to 11-1.

Chirinos doubled to start the second inning before a one-out single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa sent him to third. The Rangers took a 1-0 lead when Chirinos slid in just before Max Stassi could apply the tag on a sacrifice bunt by Carlos Tocci.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF Ryan Rua was scratched about 25 minutes before the game because of back spasms.

Astros: Manager A.J. Hinch said Altuve is day-to-day and wasn’t sure if he’d return to the lineup on Saturday. “He’s still pretty sore and we’re going to hold him out as a precautionary measure,” Hinch said. “I don’t know what that means for this series or anything more than today.” ... SS Carlos Correa, who hasn’t played since June 25 because of back soreness, said he’s feeling better and the team hopes he’s getting close beginning a rehabilitation assignment.

UP NEXT

Texas right-hander Ariel Jurado (0-1, 7.71 ERA) will start on Saturday in place of Cole Hamels, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs on Friday. Justin Verlander (10-5, 2.19) will start for Houston after striking out 11 in six scoreless innings in a 7-0 win over the Angels in his last start.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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