Astros use big inning to get back on winning track

Six-run second, Singleton's four-RBI game help end seven-game skid

Astros use big inning to get back on winning track

ARLINGTON -- It's probably a stretch to say Astros starter Jarred Cosart finally figured out how to succeed against teams in the American League West, even though he did pick up his first career win against a club in the division.

Cosart wasn't as his best Monday night at Globe Life Park, surviving through five innings while giving up six runs (five earned) and nine hits. That was plenty enough, though, to topple the Rangers, thanks to one of the Astros' biggest offensive outburst of the season.

The Astros erupted for six runs and seven hits in the second inning - both season highs for an inning - and finished with a season-best 17 hits to snap a seven-game losing streak with a resounding 12-7 win over the Rangers in the series opener.

"It was really good to see the offense finally break out," Astros manager Bo Porter. "We had been scuffling. The fact that we were able to continue to add on runs even when they responded spoke a lot to the value of today's win."

Every Astros starter had at least one hit, led by three-hit games from Jon Singleton (3-for-4) and Carlos Corporan (3-for-5). Singleton hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning and drove in four runs, and Marwin Gonzalez keyed the second-inning onslaught with a three-run triple.

"I went up there and was trying to see the ball," Singleton said. "That was my big thing today, focus on seeing the ball. I just saw the ball pretty much. He threw the ball over the plate and a lot of guys were hitting the ball around the yard, so it's good for us."

All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve had a pair of hits to give him a Major League-leading 124 for season, breaking Bob Watson's club record for hits prior to the All-Star break. Altuve also stole his 39th base, including his 26th in a row without being caught.

"It's really good because when you're getting hits that means you're getting on base, when you're getting on base that means you're scoring runs for your team," Altuve said. "I feel really good about it."

Cosart (9-6), who entered the day 0-6 with a 4.74 ERA in 11 career starts against AL West clubs, won for the fifth time in his past six starts even if he did scuffle. Still, he's 8-3 since May 11, leading the majors in victories in that span.

"I thought I was pretty bad," he said. "We scored a lot of runs so hopefully we can keep it going the rest of the series and get some wins. I've got to figure out the AL West if I'm going to play in the division. Apparently, I don't do very well against them looking at what I saw today. It's pretty glaring stuff. It's just lack of execution. I get ahead of guys and can't put them away and get behind guys and throw a quickie and they get a hit."

The first six hitters in the second inning had base hits against Rangers starter Miles Mikola (0-1), including RBI singles with the bases loaded by Corporan and Kike Hernandez. Gonzalez followed with a bases-clearing triple, and he scored on an Alex Presley single to make it 6-0.

"Well it's about the quality," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "[Miles] left too many pitches out over the plate. It was strikes, but you have to throw quality strikes and that one inning … they just found a way to put the ball in play and hit the grass out there. And then Gonzalez was the big blow." Singleton launched a three-run homer to right field in the fourth that made it 9-2. Cosart struggled in the fourth and allowed three runs, but Presley's homer in the sixth pushed the lead to 10-6.

"He was just up in the zone with his breaking ball, didn't have a lot of finish," Porter said of Cosart. "He was able to get through five innings and get the W, which is the most important thing, and the bullpen did a tremendous job picking up the rest of the game."

Brian McTaggart is reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.