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56-59 - Rangers honor Pudge Rodriguez by retiring No. 7, beating Houston

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Rangers continue their inexplicable climb back into playoff contention with a 8-3 win over Houston

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As the Rangers organization was celebrating the No. 7 and Pudge Rodriguez tonight, the team was busy taking their third straight game and their second straight against the Astros to secure at least a series win.

Texas is now just 2 12 games out of a Wild Card spot somehow (officially 2 games back at the moment but they’ll be 2 12 behind either Anaheim or Seattle after their game goes final tonight).

Even though there are still six teams ahead of Texas, they’re just two games back of the Twins and no more than a game back of any of the other five teams in the loss column.

The Rangers could legitimately make the playoffs and that’s really weird. If they do, and they won a Wild Card game against probably New York, they would probably play these Houston Astros.

Right now — with the Astros 2-9 in August and tonight’s starter Mike Fiers giving up a season-high six runs to inflate Houston’s MLB-worst 6.71 ERA in August — that dreamy scenario looks like an appealing proposition.

Nevertheless, the American League is a mess and I’m all in on the Rangers getting to wallow in it.

Player of the Game: Brett Nicholas went deep with two-on and two-out for his first big league home run of 2017 to put the Rangers up 3-0 in the second inning. Nicholas finished the night going 2-for-4 with three runs driven in and handled a wild Tyson Ross pretty well.

Adrian Beltre might have upstaged the rookie by going 3-for-4 with three driven in including a two-out two-run RBI single in the bottom of the sixth that turned a 6-3 nailbiter into an 8-3 laugher.

Up Next: The Rangers go for a sweep of the Astros tomorrow with a chance to draw the season-series to within a game. Andrew Cashner will make the start for Texas against Houston ace Dallas Keuchel. The afternoon getaway game is scheduled to begin at 2:05 pm CT.