Astros bats explode to down Rangers, 12-7

It took three hours, 48 minutes and 19 total runs for the Rangers to arrive at an all-too-familiar result in what was their 16th loss in the last 19 games, a 12-7 loss at the hands of the Houston Astros.

The game was almost exactly two hours old by the time Alex Rios grounded out to the pitcher to end the fourth inning with the scoreboard reading 9-2 in favor of Houston.

A Texas comeback effort was futile.

Ranger starter Miles Mikolas gave up six runs in the second inning as the first six Astros reached base. After a carousel of five singles plated two runs, Marwin Gonzalez tripled home a trio of baserunners to put five runs on the board before the first out was made in the second frame.

Alex Presley would single home a sixth run with one out in the inning.

Mikolas threw 63 strikes on 88 pitches (71.6 percent) in the game, but caught too much of the plate with too many of them.

You can throw strikes, but you have to throw quality strikes, manager Ron Washington said.

I've got to make better pitches with guys on base, Mikolas said.

While the Rangers never cut the deficit to less than three runs, it was a mammoth of a three-run home run by Jon Singleton, conservatively estimated at 425 feet, that would be the difference in the game.

Singleton s fourth-inning blast would chase Mikolas from the game with nine runs to his ledger and a season ERA inflated to 12.46.

Texas scored in four consecutive innings between the second and fifth, with a Singleton error plating the first Ranger run. Back-to-back doubles from Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre scored the second.

The only crooked number for the Rangers came in the fourth when Elvis Andrus laced a 2-2 pitch down the left field line for a bases-clearing double.

Adrian Beltre deposited a solo home run to straightaway center field for the sixth Ranger run in the fifth. He extended his hit streak to 11 games Monday. Rios brought home Andrus in the ninth. Texas has scored 17 runs in the last three games.

We've been putting runs on the board, Washington said. We just haven't been able to stop the other team when we do get runs on the board. We just haven't had a chance.

Six Texas runs went against Astros starter Jarred Cosart, and the Houston bullpen allowed only the one ninth-inning run. Seven straight Rangers batters struck out between the sixth and eighth innings.

Houston added an insurance run on an Alex Presley home run in the sixth, and two more on a sac fly and an RBI double in the eighth. L.J. Hoes pinch-hit in the middle of a Presley at-bat to record the sac fly to right that scored Astro run no. 11 on the night.

Scott Baker conceded each of the final three Astro runs in the game. Texas pitchers threw 173 pitches in the game.

Game two of the three-game stint with Houston is slated for Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. as the Rangers try to stay ahead of Houston for last place in the division.


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