The Norman Transcript

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August 21, 2013

Beltre blasts Rangers past Astros

ARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Beltre hit his 26th homer for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, who reached 20 games over .500 for the first time this season with a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

Beltre’s two-run drive came against rookie right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-1) in the sixth inning. Beltre, whose 160 hits are one behind Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead, also doubled and scored in the second.

Matt Dominguez homered for Houston, which has lost seven in row and 13 of 14 against the Rangers.

Neal Cotts (5-2) struck out the first three batters he faced over 1 1-3 innings and was credited with the win. The lefty was the second reliever after Travis Blackley pitched four innings against his former team only a week after being traded to Texas.

Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth for his 37th save in 39 chances.

Cosart allowed three runs over six innings, raising his ERA from 1.15 to 1.60. It was the first time in his seven major league starts that he yielded more than two runs.

Texas was down 2-1 when Ian Kinsler drew a one-out walk in the sixth. Beltre then hit a drive to right for the first homer surrendered by Cosart in his 45 major league innings — and one that had the 23-year-old biting his glove in disgust.

Beltre is hitting .434 (33 of 76) over his last 21 games, raising his season average 19 points to .326, third in the American League.

After a leadoff double in the second, Beltre went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield single by Alex Rios.

Blackley, traded from Houston to Texas just last week, was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock to start in place of right-hander Alexi Ogando, who was put on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The 30-year-old Australian, who made 42 relief appearances for Houston, allowed three hits and two runs. The Rangers expected for him to throw around 65 pitches, and he threw 66, 42 for strikes.

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