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Odor hits two home runs, Rangers beat Astros 7-3

July 29, 2018
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Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor, right, watches his second home run of the night in front of Houston Astros catcher Max Stassi during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

HOUSTON (AP) — Rougned Odor seems to have found his swagger again for the Rangers just as the Astros placed Jose Altuve on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Odor hit two home runs, including one inside-the-park, and went 5-for-5 as the Texas Rangers beat Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros 7-3 on Saturday.

“We talked about finding his swagger, getting his swagger back, getting that confidence back,” Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Know that you’re a really good player and just go show it and stay focused on every single pitch.”

Altuve was placed on the 10-day disabled list following the game after battling right knee soreness since exiting Wednesday’s 3-2 loss in Colorado in the fifth inning and missing the last two games.

Odor’s strong effort backed a stellar start from Ariel Jurado (1-1), who was called up from Double-A Frisco for this start. He set down 12 of the first 13 batters he faced.

“Didn’t look like a young guy out on the mound,” Banister said. “He looked like a guy that’s been here for a number of starts. Seemed very confident in an environment on the road against a very good baseball team.”

The only blemish through his first four innings was a solo home run hit by George Springer in the fourth. It was Springer’s 18th of the season. Jurado gave up one run on two hits, struck out two and walked one in six innings for his first major league win.

“It’s something every pitcher wants in the majors and of course thank God I got it quick,” Jurado said.

Joey Gallo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa added homers for the Rangers to back Jurado.

Kiner-Falefa hit his fourth home run of the season in the second inning off Verlander (10-6) and went back-to-back games with a home run for the first time in his career.

Odor rocketed a ball to right-center field in the fifth inning, which Springer made a leaping attempt on but missed. The ball ricocheted off the wall and rolled along the warning track. Odor raced around the bases and beat the throw home for his first career inside-the-park home run.

“When I saw Springer running really hard, I started running hard,” Odor said. “After that I saw when the ball hit the wall and then I was like I’m going home.”

This marked the 28th in Rangers franchise history and the first since Delino DeShields hit one on September 26, 2017 against the Astros.

Odor hit his second home run of the night in the seventh off new Astros reliever Ryan Pressly. It is the ninth multi-home run game of Odor’s career and first since August 19, 2017 against the White Sox.

Gallo extended the Rangers lead with a three-run homer in the ninth, his 26th of the year.

Verlander gave up two runs on nine hits, struck out seven and walked one in five innings.

“Obviously you’re trying to go deep in games but first and foremost you’re trying to limit runs,” Verlander said. “I don’t care if I go six or seven, if I give up four or five I’m probably not going to win. My goal is just to keep grinding through innings and try not to let those guys, however they got on base, not let them score.”

In his last 11 starts, Verlander has given up 13 home runs, compared to the five he gave up in his first 12 starts of the season.

Alex Bregman hit his 22nd home run of the year in the ninth inning. The Astros have lost four of their last five and have been outscored by the Rangers 18-5 in the first two games of this series.

“We’ve had a couple of brutal games in a row, so whether it’s errors or tough at-bats or just a lack of connected at-bats where we can do positive things a couple guys in a row,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “When you lose a couple games, especially with the way that we’ve lost them, you can point to a lot of things.”

ROSTER MOVES

DeShields was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock and RHP Ariel Jurado was recalled from Double-A Frisco. LHP Brandon Mann was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF Ryan Rua (back spasms) after being scratched from the lineup prior to Friday’s game was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

Astros: Jose Altuve (right knee soreness) was placed on the 10-day disabled list following Saturday’s game. The move is retroactive to Wednesday ... Carlos Correa (stiff back) took a full group of ground balls on the field early and it was “the most energy and the most progress” Hinch has seen to date even before they shut him down. Hinch said Correa would do that again on Sunday and after that they could establish a timeline.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Mike Minor (6-6, 4.83 ERA) gets the ball against the Astros on Sunday seeking his first win since June 27. Minor is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in four starts in the month of July.

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (10-5, 4.01 ERA) starts the Astros’ final regular season game against the Rangers on Sunday. McCullers has lost his last two starts giving up a combined 11 runs in those losses.

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