Arlington, TX – Adrian Beltre hit a go-ahead solo homer in the sixth inning and the Texas Rangers kept pace in the AL wild card chase with a 3-2 win over the lowly Houston Astros.
The Rangers have taken the first two meetings of this three-game set -- the first time this month they have won consecutive games -- and remained one game behind the Cleveland Indians for the second wild card spot with five to play.
"That home run was huge right there. We certainly needed and it couldn't have got it as a bigger time," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Geovany Soto went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the win, which was credited to Neal Cotts (6-3) for pitching a scoreless inning of relief behind Yu Darvish.
Matt Dominguez hit a solo homer for the Astros, whose 11th consecutive loss gave them 107 on the year -- tied for the most in franchise history.
Brad Peacock (5-6) was charged with three runs on six hits over six frames, the one big mistake coming on a 1-2 pitch to Beltre that broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth.
"I felt like he threw the ball outstanding," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
Texas' bullpen made the slim cushion hold up, as Tanner Scheppers and Jason Frasor each stranded a runner on third prior to Joe Nathan retiring the side in order in the ninth for his 41st save.
Darvish, who twice took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Houston this year, quickly ended any anticipation of flirting with history again with a shaky first frame.
The right-hander gave up a one-out single to Jose Altuve before walking the next two batters to load the bases. Darvish limited the damage to Chris Carter's sacrifice fly, and it stayed 1-0 until Geovany Soto and Ian Kinsler singled in runs for Texas in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
Dominguez led off the sixth with a home run off Darvish, who was pulled after issuing a one-out walk having allowed two runs on four hits with four walks and nine strikeouts.
Texas has won 10 straight against the Astros and their 16 wins against them this year is their most ever against one opponent in a season ... Darvish recorded 52 strikeouts in five starts against Houston this year ... Houston went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine ... Peacock came in 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA over his previous three road starts ... The Astros lost a franchise-worst 107 games last season after going 56-106 in 2011.