NORMAN — Texas manager Ron Washington wasn’t sure what to expect from a couple of reserves he started on Sunday to give his Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler a day off.
The veteran manager was pleasantly surprised.
Leonys Martin and rookie Leury Garcia combined to get five hits, score six runs and drive in two as the Rangers completed a three-game sweep by romping past the Houston Astros 12-7.
Adrian Beltre’s three-run homer was one of his four hits, and David Murphy and Martin also homered for Texas.
“The type of team that I have this year, guys have been getting opportunities to play a little more than I have in the past,” Washington said. “So I think they’re more prepared and more ready to go up there when there’s opportunity for them to play and do the job.”
He was particularly impressed with Garcia, who had three hits and scored four runs — both career highs — to become the first Texas rookie to record both since Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2007.
“Leury Garcia was the one guy today that I didn’t expect to make a whole lot of contact because he’s the one guy that’s in that lineup who hasn’t been doing a whole lot of playing,” Washington said. “He had a good game: scored four runs, got three hits, stole a bag, played good defense. That’s what you like to have in extra guys.”
Garcia was excited to contribute.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I feel really good. I had a few days that I hadn’t played but I was waiting for my time and I took advantage of it.”
The Rangers set a season high for runs, and did it quickly. Martin led off the fifth with a home run and Beltre connected later in the inning for a 12-1 lead.
Beltre doubled twice and drove in four runs. He homered for the second straight day, hitting a drive that was originally called a double and changed to a homer after the umpires went to video review. Beltre connected off Edgar Gonzalez, signed by the Astros earlier in the day.
Beltre has heated up lately with 12 of his 23 RBIs coming in the last 10 games. He’s raised his average from .214 to .260 in that span.
“Outstanding. Certainly what we needed,” Washington said of Beltre’s day. “He’s been swinging the bat well and that average is climbing and RBIs are starting to pile up. He’s my RBI guy, so I’m very happy.”
Chris Carter hit a three-run homer for Houston, Brandon Barnes added a two-run shot and Jason Castro had a solo homer. The Astros have dropped 10 of 12.
At 10-28, the Astros are off to their worst 38-game start, according to STATS, breaking their 12-26 mark from 1967 and 1975.
Rockies 8, Cardinals 2: ST. LOUIS — Jorge De La Rosa held the St. Louis Cardinals hitless into the seventh inning and Troy Tulowitzki’s three-run homer ended Colorado’s scoreless streak at 28 innings, sending the Rockies to an 8-2 victory Sunday.
De La Rosa did not allow a hit until David Freese’s two-out single in the seventh, answering a pair of pitching gems by St. Louis over the weekend.
Charlie Blackmon added a two-run homer off Jaime Garcia (4-2) for the Rockies, who snapped a four-game skid. They finished with 11 hits after totaling three in consecutive shutout losses to rookie Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright.
Nolan Arenado, who singled with one out in the eighth to break up Wainwright’s no-hit bid Saturday, was among four Rockies with two hits apiece.=
Yankees 4, Royals 2: KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Robinson Cano finally hit a home run at Kauffman Stadium, Vernon Wells went deep for the second straight game and the New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Sunday to wrap up a three-game sweep.
Hiroki Kuroda (5-2) allowed only a sacrifice fly by the Royals’ Alex Gordon and an RBI groundout by Alcides Escobar over 7 2-3 innings. The right-hander at one point went 15 batters without allowing a hit to win for the fifth time in his last six decisions.
The Yankees, who began the day in sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time this season, scored all their runs off Ervin Santana (3-2) to win their fifth straight game.
David Robertson retired Billy Butler to end the Royals’ eighth-inning rally, and Mariano Rivera worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to remain perfect in 15 save opportunities.