HOUSTON (AP) - Houston's bullpen squandered another lead on Saturday night.
The twist this time was that defensive lapses also played a part in the loss.
Alex Rios starred in his Texas debut, tying the game with an RBI triple in the eighth inning and scoring the go-ahead run to help the Rangers to a 5-4 comeback victory over the Astros.
Elvis Andrus added a two-run homer as the Rangers extended their winning streak to a season-high six games.
Rios, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on Friday, tripled off reliever Lucas Harrell (5-13) in the eighth inning to tie it after a double by A.J. Pierzynski. Brandon Barnes misplayed the ball, badly missing it on a dive and letting it roll far out into center field.
Rios then slid feet first into home on a ball hit by Mitch Moreland, scoring when catcher Jason Castro dropped the ball in the collision for an error to put Texas up 5-4.
``He caught the ball, put the tag on him, just the momentum of the contact dislodged the ball,' manager Bo Porter said. ``Good slide by the other guy, everything clean about it, but we just weren't able to hold on to the ball.'
The Rangers trailed by two in the seventh before the Astros' bullpen failed them again, with Kevin Chapman allowing Andrus' first home run this season to tie it at 3.
Jurickson Profar reached on an error by Jake Elmore to start the seventh inning. Chapman retired the next two batters before Andrus sent an 82 mph slider into the Crawford Boxes in left field.
``When you give a team extra outs, especially a team that has a good offensive team like the Texas Rangers, you put yourself at more risk to give up runs,' Porter said.
Houston's relievers have given up the lead seven times in the last 14 games and have blown seven saves in that span.
Chapman was disappointed that he couldn't get it done Saturday.
``It has been tough lately, but we are going to come back tomorrow, get better and keep working,' he said. ``I was just out there trying to attack hitters and get ahead of hitters. Give credit to Andrus, he stayed on a pretty good pitch and hit the barrel to it.'
Andrus was greeted by his enthusiastic teammates who jumped up and down, patted his head and gave him high-fives as he entered the dugout.
The shot ended a 557 at-bat homerless streak for Andrus. He shook off a tough night where he struck out on his first three at_bats with his first homer since Sept. 4.
The Astros regained the lead when Brandon Barnes scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of that inning.
Pierzynski hit a solo home run in the sixth inning.
Texas starter Derek Holland allowed six hits and three runs in six innings. Jason Frasor (3-2) allowed one run in the seventh for the win and Joe Nathan threw a scoreless ninth for his 34th save.
Chris Carter had two hits, including his 20th homer, and Castro added a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Carter is the first Astros player to hit 20 homers since 2010, when both Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence reached the mark.
It was the first multihit game since July 3 for Carter, who has been in a monthlong slump.
Barnes was at third in the seventh inning when a pitch by Frasor bounced in the dirt, off Pierzynski's arm and toward the Rangers dugout, allowing Barnes to easily trot home to make it 4-3.
Houston took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by Jose Altuve in the third inning.
Carter's no-doubter, which landed on the train tracks atop left field, pushed Houston's lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning.
Leonys Martin walked to start the fifth before Andrus struck out for the third time. He had a few angry words with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi before Cuzzi finally lifted his mask and told Andrus to get off the field.
Pierzynski launched his homer into the second deck in right field with one out in the sixth inning to get Texas within 2-1.
Houston got the run back in the bottom of that inning when Matt Dominguez hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to make it 3-1.
Starter Brad Peacock yielded three hits and a run in six innings for the Astros.
NOTES Houston LHP Travis Blackley, who was designated for assignment on Thursday, has been outrighted to Triple A Oklahoma City. He has three days to accept the assignment or become a free agent. ... Houston SS Jonathan Villar was out of the lineup for a third straight game with a sprained left thumb. He pinch-ran in the eighth inning. ... The series continues on Sunday when Texas left-hander Martin Perez opposes Dallas Keuchel.
The Associated Press News Service
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