ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — José Abreu and Chas McCormick had back-to-back RBI doubles in the ninth inning and the second-place Houston Astros, after blowing an eight-run lead, closed out a series victory with a wild 12-11 win over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers on Monday.
Abreu and McCormick also homered earlier for Houston (47-38), which took three of four against their instate rival to move within three games of the division lead. It is the closest the Astros have been in a month after trailing by as many as 6 1/2 games.
Kyle Tucker, who hit Houston’s majors-best eighth grand slam in the second for a 6-0 lead, led off the ninth with a single against Rangers closer Will Smith (1-3), who had only his second blown save in 16 chances. Abreu and McCormack, who had a three-run triple in the eighth inning of Sunday’s 5-3 win, then followed Alex Bregman’s deep flyout with their doubles.
The Rangers had taken their only lead on Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly that made it 11-10 in the eighth, right after newly acquired reliever Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect top of the inning for them.
Bryan Abreu (3-2), the fifth Houston pitcher, allowed that run in the eighth before Ryan Pressly worked the ninth for his 18th save in 21 tries.
Travis Jankowski had three hits and a career-high five RBIs for the Rangers (50-35). He hit a three-run homer in the fourth, then an inning later had a two-run single as part of a four-run outburst that got them within 10-9.
Rangers All-Star right fielder Adolis García hit his 21st homer, a solo shot in the seventh that tied the game at 10. His second RBI in the game was his 69th of the season, putting him in the MLB lead at that point. Leody Taveras, who scored on Seager’s sac fly, hit a two-run homer in the third.
Tucker’s fourth career slam with one out in the second inning put the Astros up 6-0 and chased Texas starter Martín Pérez, who has given up 16 homers already after allowing only 11 during his All-Star season last year. That inning opened with McCormick and Yainer Diaz hitting back-to-back homers.
The Rangers, who have been in first place for all but one day this season, have lost 15 of their past 25 games.
Texas scored multiple runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings against Astros starter Cristian Javier, who had his fifth consecutive no-decision after winning five starts in a row. The right-hander allowed eight runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Javier, who has a 7-1 record, has given up 18 runs over 10 2/3 innings his past three starts. Manager Dusty Baker made a mound visit without pulling him after García’s RBI single with out one in the fifth got Texas within 10-6. Baker was immediately back out to make a pitching change after the next batter, Josh Jung, had a single. … It was the shortest outing for Pérez in his 49 starts since rejoining the Rangers before last season after three years away.
Astros: All-Star slugger Yordan Alvarez went through some outfield drills, a day after he took swings in the batting cage for the first time since being sidelined by a right oblique strain nearly a month ago. … SS Jeremy Peña missed the entire series with neck stiffness, but took some groundballs and was set to hit in the cage.
All four games of the series were sold out, the longest consecutive sellout streak for the Rangers at home since five in a row during the 2012 season, when they were coming off back-to-back World Series appearances. The total attendance for the series was 158,070.
Astros: After going 6-4 on its season-long 10-game road trip, Houston has a two-game set against Colorado.
Rangers: Dane Dunning (7-1, 2.69 ERA) pitches Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Boston.
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