ARLINGTON, Texas — A.J. Hinch and his Houston Astros can’t get comfortable playing just a few hours from home.
“We haven’t been able to solve it here,” the manager said.
Adrian Beltre and Nomar Mazara each homered, Derek Holland pitched his third straight quality start since coming off the disabled list and the Texas Rangers beat the Astros 12-4 on Saturday for their seventh straight victory.
The Astros are 1-8 in Arlington this season and 2-13 against the first-place Rangers overall. That more than accounts for the Rangers’ 10 ½-game lead over second-place Houston.
Texas won its seventh straight game. After trailing 1-0 on Teoscar Hernandez’s single in the second inning, the Rangers got their major league-high 42nd come-from-behind win. They’ve won eight of nine and scored at least 10 runs in each of their past three games.
Holland (7-6) pitched six innings, allowing two runs, six hits and three walks.
Evan Gattis had three hits for Houston, including a solo homer that pulled the Astros within 5-2 in the sixth.
In the top of the seventh, the Astros had a chance to close the gap further with one out, the bases loaded and Carlos Correa at bat. The cleanup batter grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Texas scored two runs in the seventh for a 7-2 lead. Right-hander Brady Rodgers made his big league debut for Houston in the eighth and allowed five more runs while getting two outs.
“We had the one big inning with the bases loaded. They get the double play,” Hinch said. “They come back and punch us in the mouth with a couple runs. This is how they’re good. Our good version of us does these things to other teams as well.”
Joe Musgrove (2-3) allowed five runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Beltre and Robinson Chirinos each had three hits. Mazara, Ian Desmond, Mitch Moreland, Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor each drove in two runs.
Mazara hit his two-run homer in the fifth.
“That’s a really good lineup with the power they have in the meat of their lineup,” Musgrove said.
In the bottom of the second, Beltre hit his 26th homer into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center field, and then Texas went ahead 3-1 on Moreland’s two-out, two-run double in the fourth.
Houston’s Jake Marisnick hit a two-run homer against Dario Alvarez in the ninth.
Gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Madison Kocian threw out the first pitch before the game. The Dallas native performed a front walkover before picking up the ball and delivering a perfect strike.
JOSE THE GLOVE MAN
Texas might have had more than two runs in the fourth inning but for second baseman Jose Altuve’s range. He went far to his right to throw out Carlos Gomez for the second out. After Moreland’s two-run single, Altuve went behind second base for Elvis Andrus’ grounder. While running toward left-center, he turned and threw to first baseman Yulieski Gurriel to end the inning.
Astros rookie Gurriel made his first start at first base after entering Friday night’s game at that position.
“We’re at a point where you’re trying to put the best team out there that you can,” Hinch said. “We’re not always going to be comfortable on defense. He’s a gifted infielder, so we’re expecting him to make some adjustments on the other side of the field.”
Astros: Altuve is day to day after feeling discomfort in his right calf while trying to beat the throw to first on the game-ending double play. … 1B Marwin Gonzalez hasn’t played since experiencing discomfort in his right hamstring on Wednesday.
Rangers: C Jonathan Lucroy was scratched from the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms. Manager Jeff Banister said Lucroy could play Sunday.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (9-10, 4.80) is scheduled to start the series finale on Sunday. He’s 4-1 in his career against Texas. The loss came on June 9, when the Rangers knocked McHugh out in the fourth inning.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish (5-3. 3.01) will start on Sunday. He’s 3-0 in his last five starts, all Texas victories.