ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre homered for the first time at home in more than a month, then got back to the Texas dugout to find his teammates seemingly nodding off.
"I can't blame them. It's been a long time," Beltre said.
His solo shot in the sixth put the Rangers ahead to stay in a 3-2 victory over Houston on Tuesday night that kept them close in the wild-card race.
"But hopefully that'll be the beginning of a couple this week," Beltre said. "Not because I hit a homer, but because it was a good spot to hit it."
With five games left in the regular season, Texas remained a game behind Cleveland for the AL's second wild-card spot. Tampa Bay is a game ahead of the Indians in a crowded pack.
The Astros lost their 11th straight game, their 107th overall to match the franchise record set last year.
Once Beltre started jostling a few of his teammates, they jumped up and started celebrating with him.
"The guys fell out and went to sleep because they hadn't seen him do something like that in a long time. He put them to sleep," manager Ron Washington said. "I was the only one who greeted him. That home run was huge right there. We certainly needed and it couldn't have got it as a bigger time."
Beltre's 29th homer snapped a 2-all tie with one out in the sixth. That came after Yu Darvish gave up the lead in the top half of the inning.
The AL leader with 193 hits, Beltre hadn't homered since Aug. 28 at Seattle. His last at home had been Aug. 20, also against the Astros.
Neal Cotts (6-3) struck out two in a scoreless inning after taking over for Darvish. Joe Nathan, the fourth reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 41st save in 44 chances.
Matt Dominguez homered for the Astros, and rookie Brad Peacock (5-6) struck out seven in six innings while allowing three runs and six hits.
"I felt like he threw the ball outstanding," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Even the home Beltre hit was a fastball down. You've got to tip your cap to him."
The Rangers are 16-2 this season against Houston, winning the last 10. It's the most wins Texas has ever had in a season against one team.
Darvish threw 101 pitches but failed to get past the sixth inning for the third time his five starts in September, even while going over 200 innings for the season. The right-hander also immediately gave up a Rangers lead for the fifth time this year.
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