Castro's slam sends McHugh, Astros over Rangers
HOUSTON (AP) Jason Castro broke out of his slump in a big way Thursday night.
Castro hit a grand slam and Collin McHugh threw seven solid innings, leading the Houston Astros to a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Castro ended an 0-for-20 slump with a single in the second. In the fifth, he wiped out Texas' 2-0 lead with his second career grand slam.
''I feel like I've been feeling pretty good and have been hitting the ball, just not getting any luck,'' Castro said. ''This one was nice to have, especially at this point of the year.''
Jose Altuve singled in the Houston fifth and Chris Carter walked, finishing starter Nick Tepesch. Dexter Fowler reached on an infield single to set up Castro's 13th homer, a drive to right against Ramon Mendez (0-1).
''He's been working extremely hard,'' Houston manager Bo Porter said of Castro. ''And for him to be the guy that came up with that big hit there it's obviously good for the team and obviously good for his confidence.''
McHugh (7-9) allowed two runs and eight hits while improving to 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts.
''It was one of those nights where I felt like it could have gone either way the whole night any inning,'' McHugh said. ''I felt like we started to find a groove a little bit the fifth, sixth, seventh.''
In his six August starts, McHugh gave up eight runs over 37 2-3 innings.
Josh Fields pitched the eighth and Tony Sipp worked the ninth for his second save.
Texas manager Ron Washington said Tepesch, who lasted 4 1-3 innings, was laboring the whole game.
''He had struggled from pitch one,'' Washington said. ''That inning there we got to the middle of the order, and I just felt like we needed to shut that inning down, but Mendez just couldn't get it done.''
Leonys Martin scored on a double play in the Texas first, and Mike Carp drove in Robinson Chirinos with a sacrifice fly in the third. Martin, Chirinos and Elvis Andrus each had two hits for Texas.
In a scary moment to end the fourth, Rangers right fielder Jim Adduci hit the back of his head on the dirt track and then the padding along the line after tracking down a foul ball and getting undercut by second baseman Rougned Odor. Adduci was removed as a precaution in the fifth for Daniel Robertson.
Adduci said his back hit first, and then he had a bit of whiplash. He said he was day to day.
''It happened so fast,'' Adduci said. ''It was like boom, and I am on my back laying there. Everything was quick.''
Rangers: OF Shin-Soo Choo will have surgery on Friday to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. He is expected to be able to return to baseball activities for workouts by Nov. 1. ... OF Alex Rios missed his second straight game with a swollen right thumb, but Washington said he expects him to play on Friday.
Astros: OF Robbie Grossman was out of the lineup after turning his left ankle on Wednesday night. Porter said he is day to day.
The Rangers send RHP Scott Baker (2-3) to the mound Friday night for his second straight start in Houston. He is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in seven outings since the break. Houston will counter with LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-9).
BATTING TITLE CHASE
Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre entered Thursday batting .326 and in third place for the American League batting title behind Houston's Jose Altuve (.332) and Detroit's Victor Martinez (.327). When asked if he thought he could win the title, Beltre said: ''No chance,'' before raving about Altuve and Martinez. He also said it's hard to care about those things considering the tough season the team has had. ''What is good about this year,'' he asked when asked about his good performance.