The Texas Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the Silver Boot Lone Star Series and clinched their seventh straight series win with a 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros.
The Astros jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first with an RBI single from Miguel Tejada, scoring Kaz Matsui.
The Rangers quickly took the lead back in the bottom of the inning, with yet another two-out rally. Josh Hamilton reached base for the seventh consecutive plate appearance, singling to left field. Milton Bradley followed with a two-run home run to right field.
Texas added two more runs in the next inning when Marlon Byrd (pictured above) connected on his first homer of the season. Frank Catalanotto also scored on the play.
Lance Berkman extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a fourth-inning solo home run to left-center.
Both teams would be relatively quiet until the bottom half of the seventh inning, when the Rangers tacked on two more runs. Ian Kinsler and Michael Young started the inning off with back-to-back singles.
Afterward, Astro ace Roy Oswalt had to leave the game with a strained right groin. Kinsler and Young would then pull off the double steal, giving the Rangers two runners in scoring position with no outs.
Two batters later with the bases loaded, David Murphy singled in Kinsler. The next batter, Gerald Laird, moved all the runners up 90 feet with an RBI single scoring Young.
Ranger relievers Joaquin Benoit and Eddie Guardado would combine for scoreless eighth and ninth innings, bringing the Rangers record to 22-22.
Almost three weeks ago, the Rangers were 9-18, but in the past 17 games they have won 13 contests.
The Rangers and Astros complete their series in Arlington on Sunday at 2:05 Central Time. Texas will pitch Kason Gabbard, while Houston sends Brandon Backe out onto the mound.
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