Jose Altuve’s 2-HR day carries Astros over Rangers

Jose Altuve smacked two home runs as part of a three-hit game as the Houston Astros topped the Texas Rangers 8-5 on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

Altuve drilled a pair of solo shots off Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi (1-1) for his 11th career multi-homer game. Altuve added a leadoff single in the seventh inning which kickstarted that three-run frame and resulted in his fourth three-hit game of the season. Altuve went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and clubbed his fourth and fifth homers in the first and third innings, respectively.

Mauricio Dubon, manning third base for Alex Bregman (illness), delivered an opposite-field, two-run double in the fourth that extended the Houston lead to 5-1. Dubon drove home Jeremy Pena and Victor Caratini, whose RBI double drove in Chas McCormick and upped the lead to 3-1.

In the top of the seventh, Dubon snared a Leody Taveras line drive and fired a throw to first baseman Jose Abreu that doubled off Ezequiel Duran and ended that inning. That play preserved a three-run lead and closed the book on Astros starter Cristian Javier.

Javier (2-0) logged seven strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Rangers left fielder Evan Carter socked a home run with one out in the fourth that pulled Texas to within 2-1. An inning later, Javier surrendered back-to-back doubles to Taveras and Marcus Semien (2-for-5, 4 RBIs), with Taveras scoring on the Semien RBI double to left field.

Eovaldi allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts over six innings. He entered his fourth start having surrendered three earned runs over 18 2/3 innings this season.

The Astros’ three-run uprising against Rodriguez in the seventh featured a two-run double from McCormick and an RBI groundout by Caratini. McCormick and Pena finished with two hits apiece while McCormick, Caratini and Dubon all produced two RBIs.

Semien belted a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth off Astros reliever Seth Martinez. Houston closer Josh Hader struck out Corey Seager for the final out to earn his second save this season.