Gattis and Cole lead Astros past Rangers 5-2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Evan Gattis homered in a happy homecoming, aided by a favorable matchup.
The Astros slugger and Dallas native hit a two-run homer and an RBI single, and Gerrit Cole allowed one run over six solid innings as Houston topped the Texas Rangers 5-2 on Thursday night.
"I've watched a lot of games here growing up," said Gattis, whose parents and brothers were in attendance. "I love this park. Sweet."
It was Gattis' 10th homer of the season, nine coming in his last 20 starts. It was Gattis' fourth homer off Cole Hamels in 34 career at-bats.
"I know I've had some success against him," Gattis said of Hamels. "I don't know why. It's been different pitches and different stuff, but maybe some guys you just kind of see better."
Alex Bregman also homered for the Astros, and Jose Altuve had three singles after coming in with a big league-leading 85.
Cole (7-1) gave up just three singles - and none after the third inning - had eight strikeouts and walked three while throwing 102 pitches. He entered the game leading the American League in strikeouts (116) and was second in opponents' batting average (.171).
"Try to minimize damage early knowing that the guys are going to be able to back us up," Cole said.
Hamels (3-6) didn't allow a hit until Bregman's one-out double in the fourth. Altuve singled home Bregman to tie it at 1 and scored on Gattis' two-out homer. Bregman chased Hamels with his homer in the eighth. Hamels gave up five runs and seven hits, struck out five and walked two in 7 1/3 innings, his longest start of the season. The six losses equal the most in a season during his time with Texas, which he joined midway through the 2015 season.
"Just not locating," Hamels said. "If you at look everything that he's hit and when he's hit it throughout his career, a lot of balls down the middle."
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Adrian Beltre's bloop single to center field that scored Shin-Soo Choo.
Choo had two singles and a walk to extend his 23-game on-base streak, which is the longest active run in the majors.
The game started after a 40-minute rain delay.
CONSERVATIVE WITH CORREA
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa didn't play after leaving Wednesday's game after seven innings with soreness in his right side. Correa said an MRI showed nothing abnormal.
Houston manager A.J. Hinch said the team would know more when Correa swings a bat again in the next day or so.
"Just happy the first diagnosis is that it's nothing serious, and that hopefully we'll get him back soon," Hinch said.
LONG NIGHT WITH MORE LONG BALLS
Hamels has allowed 17 homers this season. He went into the game tied for fifth in the league in homers allowed.
"Some of the home runs he's given up are to pretty good hitters," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "When you make mistakes, good hitters are going to make you pay. The stuff is still there."
Houston left fielder Tony Kemp robbed Isiah Kiner-Falefa of an extra-base hit in the sixth inning with a leaping catch. ... The Astros began a season-high 10-game road trip. ... Kiner-Falefa made his 27th start at third base. That equals the total for Beltre, who DH'ed and has been on the disabled list twice this season with a strained left hamstring. ... Beltre's single was his 3,084th career hit. He's five behind Ichiro Suzuki, who's in 21st place on baseball's career list.
Astros: C Brian McCann (right knee soreness) will be activated Friday with a corresponding roster move made.
Rangers: SS Elvis Andrus (fractured right elbow) will begin a rehab assignment next week with either Triple-A Round Rock or Double-A Frisco.
Astros: Justin Verlander (7-2, 1.24 ERA) is 1-1 with one no-decision vs. Texas this season. His ERA leads the majors.
Rangers: Doug Fister (1-6, 4.13 ERA) has split two decisions vs. Houston this season, holding it to one run in five innings on March 30 for his win.