HOUSTON -- The Rangers pounced on Scott Feldman for four runs in the first inning on a two-run double by Prince Fielder and a two-run homer by Carlos Peguero and rode the pitching of Wandy Rodriguez to win consecutive games for the first time this season with a 7-1 victory over the Astros on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.
"These guys have been battling and working and grinding," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "You would have liked it to happen earlier, but we'll take it when we can."
Rodriguez, who pitched for the Astros from 2005-12, picked up his first Major League win since May 26, 2013, for the Pirates against the Brewers. The lefty threw eight innings and sent down his final 19 batters in a row starting when Jose Altuve grounded out with the bases loaded for the final out in the second inning.
The Astros, who came into the series against the Rangers riding a 10-game winning streak during which they had averaged 7.6 runs per game, have scored two runs in two games against the Rangers. They had won five consecutive series (for the first time since 2009) before dropping the first two games to Texas.
"I don't know about expected as much as you know these things happen in baseball," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "You go through some of these spells, but part of it is both pitchers the last couple nights have had similar game plans. We haven't been able to piece anything together."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Peguero goes deep: Peguero may be holding down left field until Josh Hamilton is ready to be activated. That means he has about two weeks to show the Rangers something, and he delivered his first home run of the season on Tuesday night, connecting in the first inning off of Feldman. Peguero had never faced Feldman before.
Springer exits after great catch: Astros right fielder George Springer was being tested for a possible concussion and wasn't expected to play in Wednesday's series finale after he crashed hard into the right-field wall making a terrific catch to rob Adrian Beltre of a hit in the seventh inning. It was the third amazing catch Springer has made against the Rangers this year, but Astros fans can only hope he didn't pay a high price. More >
"That was a scary play," Hinch said. "Everybody has seen that before when he's flying into the foul wall last night and he's going as hard as can be tonight, and he's pretty banged up. When he got up you know we were starting to head out there to see what happened. He did hit his head on the wall. You could tell he was a little bit dazed and he was going full speed when he did it."
Nifty Wandy gets Altuve: Trailing, 4-1, the Astros had the bases loaded with two outs in the second and Altuve at the plate. Altuve ripped an 0-1 pitch foul, worked the count to 2-2 and then hit a nubber in front of the plate. Rodriguez got off the mound quickly and fired to first to get Altuve for the third out. More >
Feldman struggles: Feldman came into the game having posted a 2.84 ERA in his previous 12 starts, dating to last season, a streak which included 11 quality outings. His outing against his former team was anything but quality. Feldman was rocked for six runs and nine hits in three innings in his shortest start since lasting 1 2/3 innings on June 7, 2014, against Minnesota. More >
"Just warming up, I felt great, and obviously there's a pretty good vibe around here with the team and they're playing great," Feldman said. "I went out there and did terrible. I've got to try to iron that out in between my next start."
"It's one of those things, when you play the game hard like that you're going to run into walls. As pitchers, we all appreciate that kind of stuff. I just hope he's all right." -- Feldman, on Springer.
"I feel comfortable on this mound. I was on it for 7 1/2 years. It is great." -- Rodriguez, on pitching at Minute Maid Park.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Kyle Blanks was 3-for-4 with a home run on Tuesday. He is now 9-for-17 with three home runs in the No. 5 spot in the lineup. The rest of the Rangers' No. 5 hitters this season are a collective 17-for-79 (.215) with no home runs.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers:Colby Lewis pitches for the Rangers at 7:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Lewis is 5-1 with a 1.95 ERA in eight career starts and three relief appearances against the Astros. That's the 14th-lowest ERA all time against the Astros among pitchers with at least five starts and 50 innings pitched against them.
Astros:Samuel Deduno will make his second start of the season for the Astros when they close out their homestand against the Rangers. Deduno began the year as the Astros' long reliever, but he was moved into the rotation after Brad Peacock went on the disabled list with a left intercostal strain and Asher Wojciechowski was optioned. Deduno has faced the Rangers four times in his career (7.56 ERA).