By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — George Springer scored the go-ahead run from first base on Jose Altuve’s two-out double in the 11th inning and the AL West-leading Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 on Saturday night after dropping the first two games in the series.
Springer drew a two-out walk off Brett Martin (1-1) before Altuve drove a ball into the left-center gap for his fourth hit. Altuve came home on a single by Myles Straw, who entered the game as a pinch runner with two outs in the ninth for All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley and got picked off.
Texas had won Friday night on Danny Santana’s game-ending RBI liner to center that tipped off the end of Springer’s glove while he made a full-out diving try to catch it.
Shin-Soo Choo marked his 37th birthday with a leadoff homer for the Rangers, but he got stranded at second base in the 10th after he drew a one-out walk and went to second on a wild pitch by Josh James (4-0).
Roberto Osuna worked the 11th for his 20th save in 23 chances, even though Nomar Mazara had a leadoff double and came home on two-out infield single by Delino DeShields.
Stitched-up Alex Bregman homered in his return to Houston’s lineup.
The All-Star infielder needed four stitches on his chin and had to clear concussion protocol after getting hit by a groundball that took a nasty hop when he was playing shortstop in the third inning of the series opener Thursday. Bregman didn’t play Friday.
Bregman’s 24th homer was a game-tying solo shot in the fifth right after Altuve was thrown out trying to stretch his hit to left into a double. All-Star outfielder Joey Gallo got his eighth outfield assist and second baseman Santana did a nice job on the tag while keeping Altuve from the bag.
All-Star lefty Mike Minor, making his first start for the Rangers in 11 days, struck out seven in five innings. But he allowed four runs on six hits and three walks.
Houston scored twice in the first, but Astros left-hander Wade Miley quickly surrendered that lead when Choo and Santana had back-to-back homers.
Miley made it into the seventh before DeShields went deep to tie the game at 5. Miley gave up only four hits, those three solo homers and a double to Santana.
Texas also got two unearned runs off Miley, going ahead 4-3 in the third when the Astros made three errors. They had made three errors in a game only once in their first 92 games.
Houston is 8-1 in extra innings this season. The Rangers are 4-5.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa, on the IL since May 27 because of a fractured rib, is expected to join Triple-A Round Rock to begin a rehab assignment as early as Monday. … RHP Brad Peacock, out since June 28 with right shoulder discomfort, threw a bullpen Friday and is penciled in to start for the Astros on Monday at the Los Angeles Angels. … INF Aledmys Díaz (left hamstring strain) ran the bases before Saturday’s game, and is set to start a rehab assignment with Round Rock on Monday.
Rangers: OF Hunter Pence (right groin strain) stayed on his rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco. There was no setback from the injury. Pence, who had to miss the All-Star Game after being voted by fans as the AL’s starting DH, just wanted some more at-bats to get his timing down.
AL All-Star starter Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98) makes his first start for the Astros since July 5 in the series finale. Ariel Jurado (5-4, 4.23) is set to go for the Rangers.