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Astros 6, Rangers 5: Astros win 9th in a row, 1st to 40 wins

Rangers made it close, but Altuve put the Astros over the top.

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

The Houston Astros entered Saturday’s game against the Rangers on an eight-game winning streak. During that streak, the Astros have coasted — outscoring their opponents 69-29.

While the Astros have made April and May look like a cakewalk, Saturday was far from that. But none the less, the Astros were in control for much of the game and secured a 6-5 win to extend their winning streak to nine.

In the first inning, it appeared the Rangers would get the breaks. Shin-Soo Choo singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Choo scored on Elvis Andrus single.

But former Ranger, once former Astro now once again Astro, Carlos Beltran deposited an Andrew Cashner pitch in the right field upper deck to tie the game at 1-1.

The Astros offensive juggernaut arrived in the third inning. Six straight batters reached base against Cashner. George Springer, Josh Reddick (walk), Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Carlos Beltran and Marwin Gonzalez turned five singles into four runs.

The Rangers didn’t pull Cashner to save the Texas bullpen. He would survive through six innings.

Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers wouldn’t get through five innings. Andrus plated two runs with a double in the fifth inning and Adrian Beltre added a third run with a single — knocking out McCullers after 96 pitches.

The Astros bullpen worked overtime to hold onto the lead. Luke Gregerson put two runners on in the seventh, but Will Harris struck out Rouned Odor and Jonathan Lucroy to end the danger.

James Hoyt pitched a clean eighth inning, striking out Ryan Rua and Jarden Hoying.

Jose Altuve added a much-needed insurance run in the ninth inning with his eighth home run of the season.

Because Ken Giles again made things interesting in the ninth. He gave up a run on a Beltre RBI single. But Giles struck out Odor to end the game.

In total, the Astros struck out 18 batters. Altuve and Beltran both were 3-for-5.

Next Up: Brad Peacock starts for Houston against Martin Perez.