HOUSTON — Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and Lance Berkman all homered to back up another solid outing by Yu Darvish, and the Texas Rangers held on for an 8-7 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
Darvish (6-1) yielded three hits and three runs, leaving after the seventh with an 8-3 lead. In his previous outing against the Astros, he came within one out of pitching a perfect game at Houston on April 2.
Matt Dominguez homered twice off Darvish. Dominguez didn’t play in the first game against the Japanese star this season.
Houston led 3-1 before it was done in by its bullpen during a six-run sixth inning by the Rangers. Cruz, who also homered on Friday night, got things going with his two-run homer off reliever Philip Humber (0-8) that tied it. Pinch-hitter David Murphy put the Rangers on top with an RBI double.
Humber, who was moved out of the rotation this week, was rocked for five hits and five runs while getting only two outs.
The Astros scored three times in the ninth to cut the lead to one run, but closer Joe Nathan settled down to retire pinch-hitter Chris Carter to end it and get his 11th save.
Darvish fanned eight and leads the majors with 80 strikeouts. With 301 career strikeouts, he joined Dwight Gooden (319) as the only pitchers in major league history to reach at least 300 in their first 37 major league starts.
Darvish improved to 3-0 with 33 strikeouts in three career starts against the Astros.