Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios shared center stage Saturday night. Andrus surprised just about everyone in the ballpark by connecting on his first homer of the season a two-out two-run game-tying shot in the seventh inning. An inning later Rios tripled home the game-tying run and then scored the go-ahead run in his Texas debut as the Rangers rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers are on a season-long six-game winning streak have won 11 of their last 12 and sit alone atop the American League West after the A’s fell to the Blue Jays. “It’s been a fun run” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “We played so bad for a while there it was tough. …But it’s basically come down to just having more fun.” Andrus got it started in the seventh inning. The Rangers were trailing 3-1 at the time. Derek Holland didn’t have his best night and Astros right-hander Brad Peacock allowed only a solo homer run to Pierzynski through the first six innings. But the Rangers were thankful to see the shaky Astros bullpen once again. With one on and two out in the seventh Andrus felt that Astros reliever Kevin Chapman would throw a slider. He was right and sent it into the short porch in left field known as the Crawford Boxes. It was a relief for Andrus to get his first homer of the year evident by his bat flip afterward. “I don’t hit too many so I have to enjoy it” Andrus said. “I don’t know when I’m going to hit my next one. I wasn’t trying to disrespect anybody but it was more of myself being like ‘I finally hit the ball [after three strikeouts].’” Said manager Ron Washington: “One of the biggest hits we’ve had all year. I don’t think anyone in the ballpark expected that.” Ian Kinsler might disagree with the skipper on that. Kinsler standing in the on-deck circle said he called the shot after talking with hitting coach Dave Magadan about how the park set up nicely for Andrus to homer for the first time in 558 at-bats.
Andrus, Rios help Rangers overtake Astros 5-4
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Aug 11