Gomez has big night against former team
(c) Richard W. Rodriguez TNS
A 7-run fourth inning propelled the Rangers to a 10-8 victory over the Astros Friday night at The Broilpark. Arlington hitters smashed three home runs in the fourth inning against Doug Fister and Michael Feliz to extend their division lead to 9-1/2 games over Houston.
The Astros jumped out to an early lead when Alex Bregman connected for his sixth home run of the year in the first inning. Evan Gattis hit a sacrifice fly later in the frame to extend the lead to 2-0 before the Rangers got a chance to bat.
A throwing error by Bregman in the second allowed the Rangers to tie the game at two. Alex ranged far to his left to snare a grounder off the bat of Elvis Andrus, but his throw was high and A.J. Reed was unable to secure the ball. Two runs scored on the play and Andrus wound up at third base.
Fister did a good job of limiting the damage early as the Rangers left four runners in scoring position through the first three innings. But things unravelled quickly in the fourth when Arlington sent ten batters to the plate, equalling their biggest inning of the season with a 7-run outburst.
Jason Castro's fifth inning homer cut the lead to 9-3 but the Rangers answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the stanza. Feliz issued three walks in the inning, the last of which scored a run and resulted in his removal from the contest. James Hoyt came in and got Adrian Beltre to ground into a double-play to keep things from getting completely out of hand.
The Astros staged a late comeback attempt, scoring a total of five runs in the seventh and eighth innings but were unable to overcome the massive deficit. Shutout relief work by Tony Sipp, Jandel Gustave, and Chris Devenski simply wasn't enough.
Former Astro Carlos Gomez had two hits and a walk and came around to score three runs in the ballgame. Sam Dyson pitched a perfect ninth for his 31st save of the season, helping starter A.J. Griffin log his seventh win.
On the bright side, Tyler White came off the bench to deliver a 2-run double and Yulieski Gurriel went 2-for-2 in a relief role while playing first base for the first time.
The win gives the Rangers a 12-2 record against Houston for the season, staking a firm hold on the coveted Silver Boot and, more importantly, the division standings. The two teams go back at it again Saturday afternoon as Joe Musgrove faces Derek Holland in a 3:05 CDT tilt