McCormick keys 4-run 8th, Astros beat Rangers 6-2

Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, right, celebrates scoring a run with Carlos Correa, center, and Myles Straw (3) during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, right, celebrates scoring a run with Carlos Correa, center, and Myles Straw (3) during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

(AP) – Chas McCormick had a two-run single as part of a four-run eighth, Lance McCullers Jr. threw six scoreless innings and the Houston Astros won their sixth straight, 6-2 over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Houston loaded the bases with one out in the eighth on singles by José Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman. Yuli Gurriel hit a sacrifice fly to right off Joely Rodríguez (1-2). After Kyle Tucker walked, McCormick singled to left before Myles Straw capped the inning with an RBI single.

“My last two at-bats I started feeling a little more comfortable at the plate, seeing the ball a little better,” McCormick said. “I enjoy hitting off lefties, so going up there, I had a little confidence. It was special. It was huge. I love getting the RBI to break that game apart.”

Brooks Raley (2-2) struck out the side in the eighth.

“Like I’ve been saying all year, you are trying to put as much distance between you and .500 as possible,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said of the winning streak and 8-2 homestand. “We needed a good homestand and it was in our division, so that combination of things, it was key for us to win.”

The Rangers’ David Dahl tied it at 2 in the seventh with a two-run homer to center off Andre Scrubb. Texas lost its sixth straight.

“I have 100 percent confidence in these guys,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I addressed the team a little bit after the game and told them to keep their heads up. They work so hard. We do have to get a lot better in certain areas. Pretty much in every aspect, we haven’t really played that good of baseball lately, and a few mistakes are costing us.”

Bregman hit an RBI single in the first, and Correa increased the lead to 2-0 in the fifth with an RBI groundout, but Kyle Gibson prevented further damage, snagging a comebacker from Michael Brantley to end the inning.