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.
Brewers 6, Cardinals 3: MILWAUKEE — Kyle Lohse beat the Cardinals for the first time this season and Sean Halton knocked in a career-high three runs to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat St. Louis 6-3 Tuesday night.
Lohse (9-8) beat the Cardinals in his fourth try this season and improved to 3-5 in nine outings overall against his former team.
Lohse left after six innings with the Brewers leading 6-3. He earned his team-leading 17th quality start, including six in his last seven. He struck out four, walked two and allowed six hits and three runs, two coming on Yadier Molina’s two-run homer in the fourth. Molina doubled and scored in the second on Matt Adams’ single.
After John Axford and Brandon Kintzler each pitched a scoreless inning, and Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 22 chances.
Lance Lynn (13-7) got roughed up in the Brewers’ five-run fourth, highlighted by Halton’s two-run single with the bases loaded.
Milwaukee’s first six batters in the frame reached, loading the bases twice with no outs.
Scooter Gennett drove in the first run with a single. After Aramis Ramirez singled and Khris Davis reached on Lynn’s fielding error, Halton drove them in with a line drive to center that doubled his season RBI total. Logan Schafer followed with an RBI single and Norichika Aoki tacked on the last run with a sacrifice fly.
Halton set a career mark in the fifth with his third RBI of the game. Davis singled, stole second and scored on Halton’s grounder into center.
Carlos Beltran singled and scored on Molina’s 10th home run of the season.
Adams beat the Brewers defensive shift in the second inning and knocked in Molina with the Cardinals’ first run. Adams blooped a single over the head of shortstop Jean Segura, positioned on the right side of second base. Molina was on with a double over the head of center fielder Schafer. The ball flicked off Schafer’s glove and rolled to the wall.
NOTES: Kolten Wong, who had his first two major league hits on Monday night, continued getting on base. He went 3 for 5 with two singles and a double. The team’s No. 1. pick in the 2011 draft joined the Cardinals from Triple-A Memphis Friday night in Chicago. ... Brewers 1B Juan Francisco got the game off. He’s struck out four times in consecutive games. “If I think he just needs one day, I will get him back in there tomorrow,” manager Ron Roenicke said. Halton replaced him. ... Lynn is 2-2 in four starts facing the Brewers. ... Brewers CF Carlos Gomez remained out of the starting lineup after spraining his right knee colliding into the center-field wall on Thursday night. He’s missed five consecutive games. ... Segura stole his 37th base, matching Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres for the NL lead.