Altuve accounts for 4 runs, AL-best Astros beat Rangers 5-3

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 31: Marcus Semien #2 of the Texas Rangers fields a single hit by Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros as Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros slides into second base in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Field on Au

Jose Altuve drove in two runs and scored two more for the AL-best Houston Astros in a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers and their All-Star starter Martín Pérez on Wednesday.

The reigning AL champion Astros will enter September at 84-47, matching their best record through 131 games.

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Altuve drew a leadoff walk to start the game and scored on Trey Mancini’s single. After Texas went ahead 2-1 on Corey Seager’s 29th homer, the Astros regained the lead for good on Altuve’s two-run double that ricocheted off the base of the right-center field wall in the second inning.

Seager extended his career high for homers with his drive into the Rangers bullpen in right-center after Marcus Semien walked and stole his 20th base. That gave Semien his first career 20-20 season, with all of the second baseman's 20 homers coming since May 28. Texas committed a half-billion dollars last winter to sign the two middle infielders.

Astros right-hander Cristian Javier (8-9) struck out seven and walked three while allowing three runs over five innings. He made his 19th start over his last 20 appearances, five days after three innings out of the bullpen in a loss to Baltimore.


Rafael Montero, again filling the closer's role with Ryan Pressly injured, worked the ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances. Phil Maton, Ryne Stanek, and Will Smith each threw a scoreless inning before that.

Pérez (10-5) gave up five runs on nine hits and needed 91 pitches (63 strikes) to get through five innings. The left-hander, who finished 1-3 with a 4.24 ERA over his five starts in August, struck out five and walked four.

Kyle Tucker had a two-run single in the fourth to make it 5-2. The Astros had loaded the bases after two outs, starting with Altuve drawing a walk.


Semien doubled in the fifth and scored on a single by Nathaniel Lowe, the AL player of the week. Lowe added a double in the eighth for his MLB-best 56th hit in 39 games since the All-Star break and pushed his season batting average to .301.

Rangers slugger Adolis García went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, ending his 25-game on-base streak that was the longest in his career and the longest active in the majors.


Astros: LF Chas McCormick was scratched from the lineup because of issues with his right pinkie, a day after playing for the first time since he dislocated that finger diving into first base on Aug. 24. McCormick entered Wednesday's game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning and caught a flyball in left. ... DH Yordan Alvarez (hand) missed his third game in a row.


Astros: After being off Thursday for the second time in four days, the Astros open a three-game series Friday night at the Los Angeles Angels. Lance McCullers (1-1, 1.69 ERA) makes his fourth start since his return Aug. 13 after not pitching since the playoffs last year because of a right flexor tendon strain.

Rangers: Rookie right-hander Glenn Otto (6-8, 4.79), who was 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA in his five August starts, takes the mound Thursday night when the Rangers open a four-game series at Boston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.