ARLINGTON, Texas -- — Jake Meyers and Marwin Gonzalez hit consecutive homers in a three-run second inning, Kyle Tucker homered among his three hits, and Jose Urquidy allowed one run and two hits in six innings as the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Wednesday night.
Urquidy (7-3) struck out six and walked one in beating Texas for third time in four career starts, helping the AL West-leading Astros win for the third time in four games. It was the longest of Urquidy's three September starts after missing two months with a shoulder injury.
Meyers’ solo shot, his fifth of the season, broke an 0-for-12 skid. Gonzalez’s homer was his fourth of the season and his second homer and second hit since rejoining the club Sunday.
Tucker hit a leadoff homer in the eighth, his 26th, after singling in the second and doubling in the fourth. He also scored three runs.
Brock Holt scored Texas’ first run in the third inning on a groundout after hitting his first triple since Aug. 2019. Willie Calhoun, who DH’ed in his first game since suffering a fractured forearm on June 26, went 2 for 4, accounting for half of the Rangers’ hits.
Kohei Arihara (2-4) didn’t retire a batter in the fifth inning, and was pulled after three batters. Making his third start since undergoing shoulder surgery in May, Arihara allowed six runs on eight hits and hit two batters.
Urquidy retired 11 straight after Holt’s triple, until a two-out single in the sixth by Calhoun.
Meyers’ opposite-field homer carried 401 feet to right field. Gonzalez, a switch-hitter, pulled his blast 404 feet, just inside the right-field foul pole.
Gonzalez has two homers in four games with the Astros after hitting two in 77 games with the Boston Red Sox before his release on Aug. 16.
Holt tripled to deep right when Tucker couldn’t make a backhand catch on the warning track while running toward the wall and hitting face-first. Holt was activated from the COVID-19 list on Tuesday and played his first game since Aug. 21.
McCormick’s hit in the fourth inning came on a 2-2 pitch, after Arihara stepped off the pitching rubber twice, prompting boos from the home crowd.
Astros: OF Michael Brantley (right knee soreness) was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Monday. … Manager Dusty Baker said RHP Jake Odorizzi (right foot soreness) was walking better than expected but had no timetable on his return.
Rangers: Calhoun was activated Wednesday after missing 67 games. To make room on the 25-man roster, OF Jason Martin was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. To make room on the 40-man roster, LHP Hyeon-jong Yang was designated for assignment.
Thursday’s series finale will match Astros LHP Framber Valdez (10-5, 3.26 ERA) against Rangers RHP Glenn Otto (0-1, 6.92). Valdez has beaten Texas twice this season, allowing two runs in 13 innings. Otto, acquired July 29 from the New York Yankees in the Joey Gallo trade, gave up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings at Oakland last Friday. Otto will be followed by LHP Kolby Allard, making his first relief appearance following 17 straight starts since late May.
St. Louis Cardinals plan to hire bench coach Oliver Marmol, 35, as next manager, sources say
The St. Louis Cardinals, looking for a new direction headed into next season, plan to hire Oliver Marmol, 35, as their next manager, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Sunday night, after the club dismissed Mike Shildt earlier this month.
Sources: San Diego Padres locked in on hiring Indians' Ruben Niebla as pitching coach
The Padres are locked in on hiring Ruben Niebla to be their next pitching coach, sources told ESPN. Niebla has been with the Indians since 2001.
Houston Astros' Framber Valdez gets starting nod for World Series Game 1, will be opposed by Atlanta Braves' Charlie Morton
After tossing a gem at Fenway Park in the ALCS, Houston left-hander Framber Valdez will start Game 1 of the World Series for the Astros on Tuesday, opposed by Atlanta Braves right-hander Charlie Morton.
Sportsbooks install Houston Astros as World Series favorites over Atlanta Braves
Sportsbooks have installed the Astros as World Series favorites over the Braves. Houston opened as a -150 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook, but the price quickly ticked down to -145, with Atlanta listed at +125.
2021 MLB playoffs: NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario helps send Braves to first World Series since 1999
Rosario was a fourth-round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and has basically flown under the radar ever since. He was named NLCS MVP after the Braves defeated the heavily favored Dodgers to advance into their first World Series since 1999.
Braves vs Astros: A World Series 6 decades in the making
— Freddie Freeman swinging onto baseball’s biggest stage for the first time, Jose Altuve & Co. back for more. Luis Garcia, Framber Valdez and a fresh set of Houston arms facing Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and these eager, young Atlanta bats.