Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer and drove in a total of four runs, as the Texas Rangers handled the Houston Astros, 9-3, in the opener of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park.
Josh Hamilton had three hits, knocked in two runs, and scored twice for the Rangers, who have won six in a row for the first time since a seven-game run from May 10-17 of last year. Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the process.
Scott Feldman (5-6) gave up three runs on nine hits in a seven-inning start. He also fanned six batters and walked one to pick up the win.
Geoff Blum, Hunter Pence, and Jason Michaels had an RBI apiece for the Astros, who have dropped two straight and six of seven overall.
Wandy Rodriguez (3-10) lasted just three innings, allowing six runs on four hits with four walks to take the loss, his third straight.
The Rangers scored all the runs they would need in the third inning. Feldman doubled and Elvis Andrus walked before Michael Young grounded out. Ian Kinsler walked to load the bases with one out and Vladimir Guerrero recorded another walk to plate a run. Hamilton followed with a two-run single, Smoak a two-run double, and Matt Treanor an RBI base hit for a 6-0 lead.
Smoak’s two-run blast in the fifth gave Texas an 8-0 margin. Andrus hit an RBI groundout in the sixth to make it a nine-run game.
Houston scored all of its runs in the home sixth. Carlos Lee hit a one-out single and crossed the plate on Pence’s double. Blum followed with an RBI single. Pinch-hitter Michaels added a run-scoring base hit later in the inning.