ARLINGTON -- Multiple events conspired to give Rangers left fielder Ian Desmond three straight days off. That wasn't in the original plan, but the extra rest seemed to help, as he responded with his first two-hit game of the season in the Rangers' 7-5 win over the Astros on Tuesday.
Desmond began the night hitting .109 before going 2-for-4. He recorded his first extra-base hit of the season and made a great diving catch on Evan Gattis' line drive in the eighth inning.
"I want to say that as humbly as I can -- I have no doubt that I'm going to hit," Desmond said. "But helping this team win, that's most important. I feel like I've been an anchor lately. Today it feels good to contribute."
Desmond did not play in Saturday's win over the Orioles -- the first time he was out of the lineup this season -- the Rangers were rained out on Sunday and they had a regularly scheduled day off on Monday.
"[Three days off] certainly didn't hurt," Desmond said. "I was able to get my legs under me and able to process some video and work on things. A lot of the guys playing every day don't get time to digest; usually we are doing it on the fly. I have been working hard not only offensively but defensively. Over time it will pay dividends."
With two on and one out in the first inning, Desmond singled to center off Astros starter Scott Feldman to give the Rangers a three-run lead. Prior to that he had one infield single in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Rangers led, 3-2, in the bottom of the third when Desmond doubled off Feldman with a high drive that hit off the top of the center-field wall. He just missed his first home run but ended up scoring on a single by Rougned Odor.
"His timing was much better," manager Jeff Banister said. "He wasn't that far off. The last few games, he barreled some balls and had nothing to show for it. It looked like his timing of pitches and recognition of pitches was better."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.