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(Wednesday, May 14th)
Final Score: Houston 5, Texas 4
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Dominguez roped a liner off the wall in right to plate Dexter Fowler in the bottom of the ninth and send the Houston Astros to a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers in the rubber match of a three- game set from Minute Maid Park.
After Nick Martinez (0-1) retired George Springer to start the home portion of the ninth, Fowler singled to right and Jason Castro walked. Martinez stayed in after a brief meeting on the mound and Dominguez worked the count full before going the other way with a fastball that reached the wall and allowed Fowler to cross the plate without a throw.
Fowler reached base in all five plate appearances, finishing 3-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored to help the Astros even the season series at three games apiece. It is also the first time since 2008 that Houston has taken a series from Texas.
"We're just focused on winning a series," said Fowler. "We came out kind of slow but I am proud of the guys that battled back."
Dominguez and Castro had two hits apiece and Springer homered for the Astros, who trailed 4-0 through five innings before charging back.
Former Ranger Scott Feldman started for Houston, allowing four runs on 10 hits in five innings. Four relievers combined for four one-hit frames after that, with Chad Qualls (1-1) finishing the ninth to earn the win.
The loss spoiled a terrific season debut for Nick Tepesch, who yielded just a run on two hits with eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work. The injury- plagued Rangers recalled Tepesch from Triple-A Round Rock after starters Matt Harrison (back) and Martin Perez (elbow) were placed on the 15-day disabled list.
"Just taking it one inning at a time and sticking to my gameplan," Tepesch said of his outing. "As a pitcher, not trying to get ahead of myself and really the biggest thing is taking it one inning at a time."
Texas built its lead with one run in the second inning, one in the third and two in the fifth.
Alex Rios, who was 1-for-7 with five strikeouts in the first two games of this series, roped a solo homer to left in the top of the second to open the scoring. With one out in the third, Elvis Andrus singled, moved to third on Adrian Beltre's single and scored on Prince Fielder's lace to right-center.
The game nearly got away from Feldman in the fifth inning, when Andrus started a two-run frame with a double to left. Beltre plated him with a single to center and Fielder doubled past a diving Alex Presley in left to bring him around and make it 4-0. Three straight pop ups helped Feldman avoid the big inning and keep the Astros within striking distance.
They struck with a pair of runs one frame later to cut the deficit in half. Springer lined out to second for the first out but Fowler walked, as Tepesch was replaced on the mound by Aaron Poreda. He promptly walked Castro and served up three straight singles, including run-producing hits by Jesus Guzman and Chris Carter.
Jason Frasor relieved Poreda and struck out Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar to end the threat, but Springer's two-run shot next inning knotted it up at 4-4.
Jose Altuve led off the seventh with a single to left to extend his hitting streak to seven games and Springer followed with his third bomb of the season, erasing Texas' lead.
Houston took the last two games of this series following 10 consecutive home losses to the Rangers ... Altuve has 13 hits during his streak ... Texas DH Mitch Moreland's eight-game road hitting streak came to an end ... The Rangers finished 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
05/15 01:37:37 ET