ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Reddick and Tony Kemp homered, Dallas Keuchel worked seven solid innings to win for only the second time in his last nine starts and the AL West-leading Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Houston is 11-4 this season against its instate division rival, with seven consecutive road wins in the series. Houston is a majors-best 31-14 on the road this season.
Texas leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo walked twice and had two singles to extend his career-best on-base streak to 43 games, the longest in the majors since Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman’s 46-gamer two years ago. Choo is three games shy of Julio Franco’s team record of 46 in a row set 25 years ago.
Keuchel (5-8), the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, struck out seven while allowing only two runs.
The Astros used three relievers to get through the eighth. Texas already had a run in before Hector Rondon took over against pinch-hitter Joey Gallo, who worked a 12-pitch at-bat into a two-out walk to load the bases before Robinson Chirinos struck out. Rondon then worked the ninth for his sixth save in eight chances.
Houston went ahead to stay in the first when Yuli Gurriel and Reddick had RBI doubles off Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2). Reddick added a solo homer in the third before Kemp’s two-run drive that just cleared the eight-foot wall in right-center.
The Astros have homered in 23 consecutive road games, a club record and four from matching the MLB record set by Oakland earlier this season.
Bibens-Dirkx allowed five runs and nine hits over six innings. The right-hander struck out four, walked two and hit two batters, including catcher Max Stassi on his throwing hand in the first inning on the same day the Astros put catcher Brian McCann on the disabled list to have surgery on his troublesome right knee.
Stassi stayed in the game to run, but Tim Federowicz took over at catcher in the bottom of the first. X-rays were negative and the Astros said Stassi is day to day with a bruised right hand.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa, out since June 26 with lower back soreness, has been working out daily in Houston. Manager A.J. Hinch said it was uncertain if Correa will be ready to play Friday when eligible to come off the DL. He hadn’t gone through any baseball activities yet.
Rangers: RHP Tony Barnette left the game after a 2-1 pitch to Marwin Gonzalez in the eighth. The Rangers said he had a right shoulder strain and would be evaluated further Wednesday. ... 1B Ronald Guzman had two hits and scored twice after being activated from the seven-day concussion DL. His head slammed into a knee when diving back into a base on an attempted pickoff on June 26.
Gerrit Cole (9-2) will pitch on regular rest for the Astros after they made a slight tweak in their rotation. Lance McCullers Jr., who was scheduled to start, was instead pushed back to Friday. Rangers lefty Mike Minor (6-4) took a perfect game into the seventh inning of his last start, a win last Wednesday over the San Diego Padres.
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