Joey Gallo hit another long home run, Asdrúbal Cabrera accounted for five runs and the Rangers beat the Houston Astros 9-4 on Saturday night in another frustrating start for Gerrit Cole against Texas.
Cole (1-3) needed 43 pitches to get through a five-run first inning and didn’t get the first out until a called third strike against Gallo with the bases loaded on his 32nd pitch. The right-hander struck out eight, but allowed nine runs over 4 1/3 innings.
Cabrera had three RBIs with a two-run single in the first and a run-scoring single in the fifth. He also scored twice.
Gallo pulled a ball deep for the second night in a row, this time curling a homer over the top of the right field pole in the third inning to make it 6-0. His eighth homer of the season, measured at 433 feet after coming off the bat at 111 mph, followed a 442-foot drive down that line in the series opener.
Shawn Kelly (3-0) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Adrian Sampson, who allowed hits to the first four batters in the fifth.
Max Stassi and George Springer homered for the Astros, who lost for only the second time in 13 games since they left Globe Life Park at 2-5 a week into the season.
That was after a series-ending 4-0 loss to the Rangers when Cole was clearly agitated when he immediately went to the plate umpire after recording his final out in the sixth. He was upset about being limited on his warmup pitches, and maybe a call or two. Manager AJ Hinch and hitting coach Alex Cintron were ejected early in that game for arguing balls and strikes when Houston was batting.
Cole’s second start this year against the Rangers went sour quick, and his season ERA went up from 3.24 to 5.22. His third loss last year didn’t come until his 22nd start, when he was 10-3 on July 30.
Shin-Soo Choo had a leadoff double, reaching safely in his 14th start in a row. Danny Santana followed with an RBI single, the first of his three hits. Gallo’s strikeout came after consecutive walks, including Elvis Andrus on a 10-pitch at-bat that ended with a 99 mph fastball that appeared to be over the plate. Cabrera then blooped a two-run single to shallow left between two fielders before a two-out error led to another run.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor (right knee sprain) took some groundballs and hit in the cage. Manager Chris Woodward said Odor “let loose a little bit” after previously being a bit tentative moving side to side. Odor is still a 1-2 weeks away from getting back in the lineup.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (3-1, 1.96), who threw 9 2/3 scoreless innings in six relief appearances against Texas last season, starts the series finale.
Rangers: RHP Shelby Miller (0-1, 9.00) has thrown only 10 innings in his three starts, and averaged 24.2 pitches per inning.