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Astros eye rare series win over Rangers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros try to claim a rare series win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday when the Lone Star State rivals play the rubber match of a three-game set at Globe Life Park.

Houston snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Rangers on Saturday, as Jose Altuve plated the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Astros eked out a 6-5 win.

Jason Castro tripled with one out in the top of the 10th off Joakim Soria (1-1) and was pinch-ran for at third by Marwin Gonzalez. Altuve took a 1-1 fastball to deep right field, allowing Gonzalez to trot home without a throw.

Anthony Bass put two on with one out in the bottom of the frame, but Kevin Kouzmanoff struck out and Michael Choice grounded out to first to end it and give Bass his second save of the season.

Choice went deep off Kevin Chapman (1-0) in the bottom of the ninth to force extras.

"It's a big win, just the mere fact that they came back and tied it up," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "For us to come back and respond the way we responded, to take the lead and then go out and get those last three outs I thought was huge."

Now the Astros, who are still just 3-22 in their last 25 games against the Rangers, can win their first series from them since June 24-26, 2008 with a win on Sunday.

Texas has won the last 14 individual series in the matchup.

Getting the ball for the Rangers on Sunday will be lefty Martin Perez, who has beaten the Astros both times he's faced them, pitching to a 2.25 ERA in the process.

Perez picked up his first win of this season on Tuesday in Boston, as he held the defending world champs to a four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of the Rangers' 10-7 win.

He was able to get the Red Sox to ground into five double plays, tying him for second most by a Rangers pitcher in one game.

"A pitcher's best friend and he was able to use it tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of the double plays. "You don't want it to happen all the time like that, but he was able to take advantage of it tonight. He really threw the ball well."

Houston, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Brett Oberholtzer, who is still searching for his first win of the season. Oberholtzer's most recent loss came in Toronto on Tuesday, as he allowed three runs, three hits and walked three over 5 1/3 innings to fall to 0-2, while raising his ERA to 4.91.

Oberholtzer lost his only start to the Rangers last season.

04/13 08:16:33 ET

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