ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mauricio Dubón and Jose Altuve twice hit back-to-back home runs, rookie catcher Yainer Diaz had a three-run shot to cap Houston’s big seventh inning, and the Astros beat the struggling Texas Rangers 13-6 on Monday.
In the opener of a pivotal series between AL West contenders, Houston pulled within a percentage point of first-place Seattle. Texas is in third but only a game behind.
The Astros went ahead to stay with a six-run seventh, which began with them loading the bases on a walk and two singles off reliever Josh Sborz (5-7). José Abreu walked to force in the run that made it 6-5.
All-Star shortstop Corey Seager, who homered twice for Texas, then misplayed a grounder for an error that allowed two more runs to score before Diaz hit his 21st homer of the season.
There were nine home runs in all, a single-game record at Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020.
Josh Smith homered in the Texas ninth off Ryne Stanek, who later in the inning injured his right foot while covering first base. Stanek remained on the ground after he fell back hard and his foot turned awkwardly, and was taken off the field on a motorized cart. There was no immediate word from the Astros on the extent of the reliever’s injury.
Dubón and Altuve first went deep in the sixth off reliever Glenn Otto to put Houston up 5-4, with Dubón homering on the next pitch after Diaz struck out and Chas McCormick was caught stealing for a double play. Texas got even when Mitch Garver hit rookie starter J.P. France’s first pitch in the bottom of inning 451 feet into the second deck of seats above the visitors’ bullpen in left-center.
Rafael Montero (3-3), the second of six Houston pitches, worked a perfect sixth.
Alex Bregman and Altuve each had four hits for the reigning World Series champion Astros (78-61), who just got swept at home in a three-game series by the last-place New York Yankees. Dubón, the No. 9 batter, and Altuve went back-to-back again in the ninth.
Texas (76-61) lost for the 13th time in 17 games, matching Colorado for the worst record in the majors since Aug. 16. The Rockies′ 50 wins overall are the fewest in the National League.
Seattle lost 6-3 at Cincinnati a few minutes before the Astros wrapped up the opener of their final three-game series this season against Texas. The only games either team has left against the Mariners are in the last 10 days of the regular season, seven for Texas and three for Houston.
Garver’s 16th homer came a day after he went deep twice in a four-hit game against Minnesota. … Seager has 28 homers overall, and his 13 since the beginning of August are the most in the majors during that stretch. He is the American League leader with a .345 batting average. … Houston has hit back-to-back homers 15 times this season. Altuve has 12 home runs, and Dubón nine.
Astros LHP Framber Valdez (10-9, 3.38 ERA) threw a no-hitter Aug. 1 against Cleveland, six days after he allowed six runs over 3 2/3 innings in a loss the last time he faced the Rangers. Valdez starts the middle game of the series Tuesday. Texas had not announced a starter.
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