Rangers' winning streak snapped by Astros
Hamilton extends hitting streak to 19; Kinsler ejected in loss
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers lost. The longest winning streak in the Major Leagues is over, but the Rangers didn't walk away with a smile on their faces.
- 134 wins
- 118 wins
"We lost the game ... amazing, isn't it?" second baseman Ian Kinsler snapped. "We're not going to win them all."Kinsler wasn't around at the end when the Rangers' 11-game winning streak was snapped in a 7-4 loss to the Houston Astros at the Ballpark in Arlington before 43,457 fans on Friday night. Kinsler was ejected in the third inning on a night when the Rangers often found themselves snapping at the umpires or letting Astros pitchers slip out of jams without inflicting serious damage. The Rangers had 13 hits and 18 baserunners overall in the game but were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 13 runners on base. The Rangers also committed three errors -- two on one play -- after committing just three overall during the winning streak. "They just beat us," manager Ron Washington said. "Yes, we made some mistakes but they just beat us." Josh Hamilton had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 19 games and had a single in a two-run fifth inning that gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead. But the Astros came back with three runs in the top of the sixth inning against Rangers starter Colby Lewis. Lewis had a three-game winning streak coming into the game, including a two-hit complete-game victory against the Astros in Houston last weekend. But this time he only went five-plus and gave up five runs, four earned, on nine hits and a walk. He is now 7-5 with a 3.28 ERA on the season. "Nothing to take away from that guy, but he wasn't the same," Astros designated hitter Carlos Lee said. "He wasn't the same guy we faced last Friday. It was one of those days he didn't have a good feel for the breaking pitches and was leaving the ball in the middle of the plate." Astros pitcher Brian Moehler picked up the win even though he didn't do that much better than Lewis. Moehler, who lost to the Rangers last Saturday in Houston despite allowing two runs in six innings, gave up three runs, two earned, on eight hits and three walks on Friday night to earn his first win of the season. "He pitched well against us last time and pitched well tonight," third baseman Michael Young said. "You'd like to capitalize on every opportunity but when a guy is making pitches like that, you've got to go up there and battle. It just didn't fall for us tonight." It did for the Astros, especially in the sixth. The Rangers, after taking the lead, needed a shut-down inning and couldn't get it. Lee started the Astros sixth with a double to left and scored on Hunter Pence's double to left-center. Geoff Blum followed with a drive to deep right-center where center fielder Julio Borbon, after a long sprint, tried to make a diving catch. But, with Nelson Cruz bearing down on him from right field, Borbon couldn't hold on and the ball fell for another double while the two outfielders just missed a bad collision. "Fortunately Nelson saw me out of the corner of his eye," Borbon said. "I just took a shot at it. If he had kept coming, we both would have been laying on the ground and I would have been carried off the field." Darren O'Day took over for Lewis at that point. He got Chris Johnson on a pop out but a couple of throwing errors by O'Day and second baseman Andres Blanco brought home another run on a play that started with Humberto Quintero hitting a slow roller to the right side of the mound. Blanco was in the game because Kinsler was not. Kinsler was ejected in the third inning after getting called out on strikes to end the frame. Kinsler took a 2-2 fastball from Moehler for strike three -- the third called strike of the at-bat -- and reacted to home-plate umpire Eric Cooper's call by tossing his bat, helmet and batting gloves. By the time the gloves hit the ground, Kinsler was thrown out of the game. Catcher Max Ramirez got into it with the umpires in the ninth inning. With Jason Bourgeois batting with two on and one out, Ramirez got crossed up on a pitch from reliever Alexis Ogando and let it skip off his glove. The pitch hit Cooper squarely in the mask and he was stunned momentarily. "I called for a slider," Ramirez said. "He didn't see my sign and he threw a fastball." Cooper stayed in the game but one of the umpires said something to Ramirez about "catching the ball" and tempers flared. "It was just the umpires getting out of control and getting under control," Washington said. "The ball got away ... a mix-up on the pitch and one of them said something they shouldn't have." Second-base umpire Mike Reilly said there was some frustration because this was the third time Cooper has been hit this year but had no doubts it was an accident.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.