HOUSTON (AP) - Houston manager Bo Porter has seen this story before.
``It's the same script, different day,' Porter said.
The Astros' bullpen fell apart once again, and Leonys Martin hit a two-run double in a four-run eighth inning as the Texas Rangers rallied to tie a season high with their fifth straight victory, 9-5 on Friday night.
Houston led by one entering the eighth before Adrian Beltre tied it with an RBI single off Josh Zeid (0-1). Wesley Wright's two-out, bases-loaded walk of Jurickson Profar put the Rangers on top. Martin then belted a line drive to right field to score two and make it 7-4.
Matt Garza (2-1) yielded seven hits and four runs with eight strikeouts in seven innings for the win.
The Astros used five pitchers in the eighth inning alone, but it didn't help relieve their bullpen woes. Houston's relievers have given up the lead six times in the last 13 games and have blown six saves in that span.
``I personally feel sorry for our starters, but they are not going to show it because they are good teammates,' Porter said.
Jason Castro doubled and homered, and Brandon Barnes added a home run for the Astros, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Houston loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but came away empty-handed when Neal Cotts struck out pinch-hitter Marc Krauss to end the inning. He earned his first save.
Joey Butler had his first career hits on a pair of doubles for Texas in his first major league start.
Butler's second double came with one out in the seventh inning. Profar's RBI single got Texas within 4-3 before Houston starter Erik Bedard ended his night by striking out Martin.
Ian Kinsler walked to start the eighth and stole second base. The Rangers tied it at 4-all with Beltre's RBI single to shallow center field which chased Zeid.
Josh Fields intentionally walked pinch-hitter David Murphy with two outs before walking Butler to load the bases and bring on Wright.
Bedard allowed seven hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings and is winless since June 26.
Houston's bullpen has struggled all season, but things have gotten worse since the Astros traded veteran closer Jose Veras to Detroit on July 29.
``Our starters have done a really good job of either keeping us in the game or putting us in position to win the game, and when the bullpen steps in we have not done a good job of holding leads and closing games out,' Porter said.
Zeid lamented the walk he allowed to start the eighth inning.
``It's tough to spoil a win for Erik,' Zeid said. ``He pitched a great game. It feels terrible.'
Things looked good for the Astros early. Castro's 445-foot homer to the second deck in right field to start the second put Houston up 1-0.
Singles by Kinsler and A. J. Pierzynski sandwiched around a walk by Beltre loaded the bases in the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly by Jeff Baker tied it at 1 before a sacrifice bunt sent Beltre home to put Texas up 2-1.
Garza had retired six in a row before L.J. Hoes doubled to start Houston's fourth. A double by Jose Altuve sent Hoes home to make it 2-all.
Castro's 31st double, which bounced off the wall in left-center, scored Altuve to put Houston up 3-2. Barnes homered to start the fifth and make it 4-2.
Houston's inexperience was painfully evident in the ninth inning, when Pierzynski bunted and rookie pitcher Jorge De Leon scooped up the ball and looked at Kinsler on third before throwing to first. As soon as De Leon looked away, Kinsler dashed home ahead of the throw to make it 8-4.
Murphy had an RBI double later in the ninth.
NOTES: The Rangers acquired OF Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox on Friday. He will join the team on Saturday. ... Texas DH Lance Berkman, who has been on the DL since July 7 with left hip inflammation and also experienced pain in his surgically repaired right knee, will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. ... Houston SS Jonathan Villar was out of the lineup for a second straight game with a sprained left thumb. Porter said he will not go on the DL, but he isn't sure when he'll play. ``He's going to take batting practice and go through the whole routine and we will re-evaluate it after to see what degree of soreness if any and then move forward from there,' Porter said. ... The series continues on Saturday when Texas left-hander Derek Holland opposes Brad Peacock.
The Associated Press News Service
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