Arlington, TX – Yu Darvish tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts over eight innings in the Rangers' 6-2 win over the Astros in the opener of a three-game series.
Darvish (8-4) rebounded from a tough start in Oakland with a gem, giving up two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks.
"[Darvish] rocketed the strike zone," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He had a good fastball working tonight."
David Murphy picked up two hits and drove in a pair for the Rangers, who have won four of their last five.
The Rangers chased Jordan Lyles (1-3) from the contest in their game-changing fifth inning. In total, he gave up five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.
"It's not fun. I'm not doing anything but hurting my team," said Lyles, who also failed to make it out of the fifth in his previous start.
Texas played without outfielder Josh Hamilton, who is hospitalized with an intestinal virus. He's not expected to return to action until at least Sunday's series finale.
Hamilton began feeling symptoms Friday morning and is expected to be hospitalized 12-24 hours. He's been receiving IV fluids.
Jose Altuve gave the Astros an early lead after working a leadoff walk in the third. After he stole a base, Jed Lowrie drove him home with a base hit.
Texas broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning, in which seven straight Rangers reached base. The rally started with an error on Chris Johnson. Elvis Andrus was hit by a pitch. Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Murphy and Yorvit Torrealba then followed with five straight singles, hit both hard and soft, to give the Rangers a 5-1 lead.
Justin Maxwell, who had two hits on the night, hit his seventh home run in the seventh inning to bring Houston back within three.
Mitch Moreland responded with a bomb of his own in the eighth.
After giving up a leadoff single, Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two, to secure the win.
Darvish became the first pitcher in Rangers history to win his first six starts at home...Darvish is 5-0 with a 2.38 earned run average (nine earned runs in 34 1/3 innings) in his last five home starts...Texas' Mitch Kirkman switched from No. 44 to No. 50 before the game...The Rangers have won nine of their last 12 meetings with Houston...Texas has won five of its last six against the Astros in Arlington...Texas is 7-3 in interleague play.