Rios hits for cycle as Rangers rout Astros 12-0

Rios hits for cycle as Rangers rout Astros 12-0
September 23, 2013, 10:15 pm
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The Astros lost their 10th straight game on Monday, blown out 12-0 by the Texas Rangers, who are in a fight for a wild-card spot. The Astros didn’t put up much of a fight, and didn’t look good in losing for the 15th time in 17 games with the Rangers this season. Houston starter Jordan Lyles left the game after three innings down by seven runs. Texas starter Derek Holland pitched a six-hit shutout. Alex Rios led the Rangers charge with four hits, hitting for the cycle. For the Astros, Trevor Crowe was on base three times with two hits.

TURNING POINT

The Rangers were already ahead 4-0, but Leonys Martin’s bases-clearing double in the third inning off Lyles gave the Rangers a commanding 7-0 lead.

STARTING PITCHING

Lyles (7-9) is going to want to forget his final two starts of the season, allowing 14 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. In Monday’s loss, Lyles left the game after three innings trailing 7-0 lead. Lyles allowed seven runs and seven hits on Monday with three walks and two strikeouts.

Lyles got off to a slow start allowing two first-inning runs. Lyles didn’t catch a break in the inning as Ian Kinsler, who singled, broke for second and shortstop Jonathan Villar left his position to cover the bag. Elvis Andrus singled at the spot where Villar would have been. Instead of Andrus hitting a potential double-play ball, he singled, putting runners at first and second and no outs. Rios followed with a two-run double to open the scoring.

Holland (10-9) pitched with confidence. A big lead will do that to a pitcher. The left-hander struck out nine with only one walk.

IN THE BULLPEN

By the time David Martinez came in relief in the fourth inning the Astros were down 7-0. In three innings Martinez allowed five runs, four earned, seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Chia-Jen Lo and Josh Fields pitched a scoreless inning each.

AT THE PLATE

Crowe opened the third inning with an infield single, breaking a 0-for-14 skid. He walked in the fifth and singled in the seventh.
 
Rios became the seventh Ranger to hit for the cycle. His sixth-inning triple gave the Rangers a 10-0 lead. Rios had a two-run double in the first, a leadoff single in the third, a home run in the fifth and his triple in the sixth. Rios had four RBIs and three runs. Andrus had three hits and scored twice and A.J. Pierzynski had two hits and two runs.

IN THE FIELD
Max Stassi entered the game in the last of the sixth inning to catch for the first time on the major league level. In his previous two games with the Astros Stassi was the designated hitter.
From his second base position, Jose Altuve made a fine play for the second out of the second inning. With Martin batting, Altuve went to his left to knock the ball down, got up, checked the runner Craig Gentry at third and then threw Martin out at first base.

ON THE BASES
 
Altuve was thrown out at second base, completing a double play to end the Houston first inning. After Matt Dominguez struck out, the ball got away from catcher Pierzynski and Altuve took off for second base. But Altuve was gunned down as second baseman Kinsler applied the tag.

UP NEXT
 
The three-game road series with Texas continues with game two on Tuesday. For Houston, RHP Brad Peacock (5-5, 5.24 ERA) will oppose RHP Yu Darvish (13-9, 2.81 ERA). In Wednesday’s series finale, LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-9, 4.99 ERA) of the Astros will oppose LHP Martin Perez (9-5, 3.54 ERA).
Both games will be televised on CSN Houston.

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