HOUSTON -- Shin-Soo Choo homered and drove in three runs as the Texas Rangers beat Houston for the eighth straight time, winning 6-2 Friday night and extending their AL West lead over the Astros to 4 1/2 games.
Houston star second baseman Jose Altuve exited early after being hurt in a collision with shortstop Carlos Correa while chasing a popup. Houston announced that Hinch had removed Altuve as a precaution and there was no sign of a concussion.
The Rangers improved to 16-7 this month while Houston lost its third in a row and fell to 7-15 in September. The Astros' lead for the second AL wild-card spot was whittled to one game over the Los Angeles Angels, who played later.
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Texas starter Yovani Gallardo allowed eight hits and two runs in 4 2/3 innings and Ross Ohlendorf (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.
Scott Kazmir (7-11) yielded 10 hits and six runs, lasting just 3 2/3 innings for the second straight game. He hasn't won since Aug. 22, a span of six straight starts.
Choo, who had three hits, put Texas up 3-0 with an RBI single in a two-run second. He added a two-run homer in the fourth.
Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning for the Astros, who have dropped eight of 11. Houston went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Altuve and Correa were tracking a popup by Elvis Andrus with two outs in the seventh. Altuve had the ball in his glove for a moment before Correa crashed into him.
Correa's glove hit Altuve in the face and knocked him to the ground.
Altuve used his right arm to break his fall. He grimaced as he remained on the field for a couple of minutes while trainers attended to him before eventually walking off the field.
Texas got an RBI double by Prince Fielder to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and has now won 13 straight games when scoring in the opening frame.
Mitch Moreland started the second with a double that rolled up Tal's Hill in center field. Kazmir overthrew first for an error on a bunt single by Andrus that allowed Moreland to score and push the lead to 2-0.
Chris Gimenez's first career triple came with two outs in the inning and Kazmir plunked Delino DeShields before the RBI single by Choo.
DeShields doubled with two outs in the fourth and Choo launched his 19th homer into the first row of the seats in right field. Adrian Beltre doubled before an RBI single by Fielder chased Kazmir.
Astros: OF Carlos Gomez (intercostal strain) missed his 12th straight game. He hoped to return on Saturday, but manager A.J. Hinch isn't sure if he'll be ready. Gomez could be used as a defensive replacement or a pinch runner before he's healthy enough to get back in the lineup. ... Correa was in the lineup on Friday despite fighting a cold.
Rangers LHP Derek Holland (3-3, 4.75) opposes Collin McHugh (17-7, 3.93) when the series continues on Saturday. Holland looks to get back on track after going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his past three starts, a stretch that has raised his ERA from 2.37 to 4.75.