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Old 04-22-2016, 11:00 AM   #1
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Astros lose to Rangers 7-4 for latest series sweep at Texas

The Houston Astros headed home from Globe Life Park on Thursday night following another fruitless series against their home-state rivals in the American League West.

Ian Desmond's first homer of the season was good for three runs and A.J. Griffin outpitched 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel as the Texas Rangers beat the Astros 7-4 to complete a three-game sweep.

The Rangers have won four straight and have swept three straight home series from the Astros.

"There's a sense they somewhat have our number," said Colby Rasmus, the only Houston batter with two hits -- both home runs. "They've got the magic stick working now, for sure."

The Astros lost the three games by six total runs.

"We played just well enough to lose by a little, which isn't good enough," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "We are going to be back here a couple more times, but we clearly need to shake the difficulties in not pulling some of these games out."

Griffin (2-0) trailed 1-0 two batters in after giving up back-to-back doubles to Jose Altuve and George Springer but allowed only one other run and four hits through six innings. Texas took the lead for good in the bottom of the first on Desmond's homer that followed two two-out singles.

Keuchel (2-2) gave up season highs of six runs and 13 hits in six innings. Keuchel didn't allow more than 11 hits in any game last season. The only time that he gave up more than six runs during 2015 was nine at Globe Life Park last September.

"Tonight was a weird game because that's probably the best that I've felt out of my four starts," Keuchel said. "Everything they did, it was like magic for them.

"They've got veteran leadership who get on you if you aren't doing the right thing. Not to say that we don't have that. But right now, they are clicking and playing smart."

HOT START FOR RASMUS

It was Rasmus' ninth career multi-homer game, the ninth of his career. He has played in all 16 Houston games and reached base in 15.

"I'm definitely happy that I've been able to put some out of the yard and stick with my approach," he said.

STRANDED AGAIN

The Astros were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday night in a 2-1 loss in which they left nine men on base. Springer's first-inning double on Thursday night that followed Altuve's made them 1 for 1 after only two batters. And that's where their success ended. Houston finished 1 for 6 in that department while Texas went 4 for 9.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (shoulder) is scheduled to throw off a mound on Friday.

Rangers: RHP Keona Kela (elbow) is scheduled to have surgery and will likely miss three months.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (1-2), who has allowed nine earned runs and 21 hits in 12 2/3 innings, will face the Red Sox in Houston.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (0-1) will pitch the opener of a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox.



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