After winning in their final at-bat the previous two nights, the Rangers took a 6-0 lead in the first off Dallas Keuchel (17-8), the left-hander who was the AL starter in the All-Star Game this summer and entered the game as the league’s ERA leader. The Astros in their most recent road trip have won two of ten games. Likely 10 or 11 wins, if they want to claim the AL West for the first time since 2011. Jed Lowrie singles to right and scored on Evan Gattis’ hard-slicing double that sailed over Mike Napoli’s head. He fouled a ball off his left shin, and then got hit by a pitch on his left foot.
With the Pirates suddenly breathing down their necks for first in the Central, the Cardinals extended their division lead back to three games with a win over Milwaukee. Kang, serving as the Pirates shortstop this afternoon, was able to successfully turn the double play, but was taken out at the second base bag by Coghlan’s slide and remained on the dirt in serious pain for several minutes.
Nelson later walked off the field and was hospitalized after a Connecticut scan showed a contusion.
Alec Asher (0-4) was tagged for four runs on seven hits in five innings.
Keuchel – 169.8 CYP: 17-8/ 2.56 ERA/ 196 SO in 211 1/3 innings. Matt Carpenter got three hits, including a home run. But even if they don’t, or even if they lose in a Wild Card game or get swept in the ALDS, this season has been a good one. It was the third quality start for Simon in his last nine outings.
Slugger Adrian Beltre collected his fourth hit on the night, that was just one of many game-changing hits for him in that game. Since August the Rangers have a record of 27 wins and 14 losses, according to Columbia Daily Tribune. He did not allow a base runner to reach second.
Encarnacion connected off Matt Wisler (5-8). He gave up five runs, four hits and three walks. Martin hit a two-run double in the four-run first and added a two-run homer off Ryan Kelly in the ninth.
NATIONALS 12, PHILLIES 2: In Philadelphia, Bryce Harper belted his 40th homer, Jayson Werth went deep twice and Gio Gonzalez tied his career-high with 12 strikeouts to lead Washington past Philadelphia.
Miller (5-15) didn’t make it through the fourth inning. The Rangers outhit, outpitched and outhustled the Astros at Globe Life Park and lead the American League West by 2 1/2 games.
Toronto stayed three games ahead of second-place New York.
The Rangers knocked Keuchel out of the game with two runs in the fifth. Chris Gimenez led off with single and Drew Stubbs was used as a pinch-runner.
Chaz Roe (4-2) pitched 1⅓ hitless innings, and Darren O’Day retired three straight batters for his third save.
YANKEES 3, RAYS 1: Prized rookie Luis Severino rebounded from his worst start, Greg Bird homered and drove in two runs, and New York beat Tampa Bay. Those are the most runs the AL Cy Young candidate has allowed in a game all season.
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, September 16, 2015.