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54-53 - Bust out the brooms! Rangers survive Astros to move above .500

The Rangers sweep the Astros to move above .500 and within five games of the lead in the AL West

The butt-puckering continues...

Before tonight, Scott Kazmir had allowed three runs against the Rangers over 21 innings spanning three starts as a member of the A's. Kazmir was the July pitcher of the month in the American League and hadn't allowed a run as a member of the Astros in 14 2/3 innings since being acquired from Oakland a week before the deadline. After allowing three unearned runs in a sloppy defensive first inning, Kazmir gave up a solo home run to Chris Gimenez in the 2nd to put the Rangers up 4-0.

Who had a Gimenez dong as the first earned run Kazmir would allow in an Astros uniform? Texas would go on to win 4-3 so essentially that first earned run allowed was the difference.

The Rangers started this ten game homestand with consecutive losses to the New York Yankees by a combined score of  27-7. A night later, word came out that the Rangers were set to acquire Cole Hamels. Since then, against three teams with a combined record of 179-143, the Rangers have reeled off seven wins in their last eight games to move back above .500 for the first time since July 3.

Texas finished the homestand with a 7-3 record and are now just five games back of the Astros in the West and are tied with the Twins in the AL at just two games back of a Wild Card spot.

Player of the Game: Nick Martinez wasn't at his best but it was his birthday and he gave the Rangers five innings of one-run ball in a win.