Maldonado homers, Greinke goes 7 as Astros rout Rangers 10-4

Texas Rangers' Willie Calhoun, right, loses his helmet as he strikes out swinging in front of Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, left, during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 14, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Texas Rangers' Willie Calhoun, right, loses his helmet as he strikes out swinging in front of Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, left, during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 14, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Martín Maldonado homered and drove in three runs to back seven solid innings from Zack Greinke, and the Houston Astros defeated the Texas Rangers 10-4 on Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw each had two hits and two RBIs for the Astros.

“They’re coming on strong,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s something that we had hoped for that the bottom of the lineup would come through, especially on certain days when the middle or the top isn’t doing their thing. … That’s big when you can depend on everybody and not just a few guys.”

Maldonado, who had two hits as well, launched a two-run homer to left field in the fifth to increase Houston’s lead to 10-2. He also drew a bases-loaded walk as part of a four-run third.

Maldonado said he’s been seeing the ball better, putting together good at-bats and getting good swings.

Tucker hit an RBI single in a three-run second and another in the third before scoring on a double play. Straw had an RBI single in the second and also walked to force home a run in the third.

Michael Brantley hit a sacrifice fly in the second, and Carlos Correa scored on a single by Straw and an error by center fielder Adolis García before Maldonado’s homer in the fifth.

Greinke (3-1) gave up three runs and seven hits with five strikeouts. He has allowed at least three runs in each of his last four starts.