Starter Hunter Brown matched his career high by working seven innings, and the host Houston Astros batted around in the seventh inning of their 8-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
Brown (2-0) limited the Rangers to two unearned runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts. He faced the minimum over his last three innings after recording inning-ending strikeouts of Josh Jung and Leody Taveras in the third and fourth.
Brown induced timely double-play grounders in the first and seventh innings, both initiated by second baseman Mauricio Dubon, whose throwing error leading off the third resulted in the Rangers' two-run frame.
Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia recorded RBI singles in that inning, but Brown limited the damage with strikeouts of Nathaniel Lowe and Jung, the latter with the bases full.
The Astros immediately erased that two-run deficit in the bottom half of the third.
Texas lost right-hander Jon Gray to a forearm bruise after he was struck by a line drive off the bat of Yainer Diaz leading off the inning. Both Diaz and Dubon scored when Yordan Alvarez produced a two-run double off the visiting scoreboard in left against Rangers reliever Cole Ragans (2-1).
Gray allowed one run on one hit and one walk with two strikeouts over two-plus innings.
Houston took a 3-2 lead when Diaz delivered a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Jeremy Pena in the fourth.
The Astros broke it open with their five-run seventh, starting that rally against Rangers right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Seven consecutive batters reached with one out, starting with Jake Meyers, who singled. Alvarez walked with the bases loaded to plate Meyers and Jose Abreu followed with a chopper that Rangers shortstop Josh H. Smith failed to glove. Dubon and Alex Bregman scored to extend the Houston lead to 6-2 and, two batters later, Pena roped a two-run double to left off Josh Sborz.
Dubon and Pena recorded two hits apiece while Alvarez (three RBIs) and Pena combined to drive in five runs.
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