New All-Star Castro homers, Astros top Rangers 9-5

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm •  Published: July 6, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jason Castro already had a reason to celebrate after finding out he was headed to his first All-Star game.

The Houston Astros catcher added to the fun with the big hit in a win over Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers.

Castro hit a tiebreaking three-run homer a few hours after becoming the first American League All-Star for the Astros, and Houston went on to beat the Rangers 9-5 on Saturday night.

The catcher's drive just to the right of the lawn in center field came off Robbie Ross in the seventh inning but made a loser of Darvish (8-4), who had a rough night after earning his second All-Star nod in two years in the majors.

"I grew up watching the All-Star game," Castro said. "One of the goals, along with winning the World Series, is playing in the All-Star game. It's still kind of surreal. It might not sink in until I get to New York."

The Astros built a 4-0 lead on a two-run homer by Brandon Barnes in the fourth and a two-run single from fellow rookie Marc Krauss an inning later.

"Looking at today's performance, I didn't perform like an All-Star," Darvish said. "It's unbelievable that I was being selected."

Geovany Soto pulled the Rangers even in the sixth, following Mitch Moreland's sacrifice fly, with a three-run homer off Wesley Wright.

Travis Blackley (1-0) got the win with 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief.

Darvish came out after walking Jose Altuve to start the seventh, and Brett Wallace was hit by a pitch from Ross. Castro, who had two hits and scored twice, followed with his 12th homer.

Wallace reached base all five times, adding two doubles and two walks.

"There was a feeling on the bench that we had put together some pretty good at-bats and that we could break through," said Castro, who also twice threw out Ian Kinsler trying to steal. "Darvish is a great pitcher. He's one of the best in baseball for a reason. We were trying to simplify and narrow down what we do at the plate."

Darvish, the major league strikeout leader, had six in six innings, but gave up six hits and a season-high five earned runs.

The Japanese right-hander, who came within an out of a perfect game in the second game of the season against the Astros, tied his season high with four walks. He has just one win in his past nine outings.



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