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August 20, 2013

Rangers smash Astros

ARLINGTON, Texas — Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus each scored three runs for Texas, including twice each in an 11-run inning that was the biggest in the majors this season, and the Rangers beat the Houston Astros 16-5 on Monday night.

Martin got the Rangers big third inning started with his majors-leading 11th bunt single before a single by Andrus. The top two hitters in the lineup came home on a single by A.J. Pierzynski, and both got on base and scored again before the Astros finally got the third out.

All nine Rangers scored in the third, when they sent 15 batters to the plate and had seven hits — six singles and a double — along with three walks, two Houston errors and a sacrifice bunt. Only five of the 11 runs were earned.

The last team in the majors with as many runs in an inning was St. Louis, with a 12-run seventh in a 12-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on July 21, 2012. Texas’ last 11-run inning was in the fifth of a 15-3 win at home against Tampa Bay on Sept. 26, 2009.

The AL-West leading Rangers have won 12 of their last 13 games against Houston (41-83), the first-year American League team now 30 1/2 games back in the division.

Matt Garza (3-1) struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings. But the right-hander allowed five runs, becoming the first Texas starter in 22 games to allow more than four.

Lucas Harrell (6-14), getting another start after four consecutive relief appearances, allowed nine runs (seven earned) in 2 1-3 innings. He was initially sent to the bullpen after also giving up nine runs in 3 2-3 innings at Texas in a 10-5 loss July 5.

Texas finished with a season high for runs, two nights after a 15-3 victory over Seattle that is its highest-scoring game without a home run in the 20 seasons of Rangers Ballpark.

Texas had 15 runs without a homer again before Pierzynski connected in the seventh. Pierzynski finished with four hits and four RBIs.

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