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Mikolas falters in 2nd Texas start as Singleton, Gonzalez power Astros past Rangers 12-7

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Miles Mikolas has been in the major leagues a little too long to be considered yet another young Texas starter.

The 25-year-old right-hander still showed some of the same growing pains in his second trip to the mound for the Rangers.

Mikolas allowed six straight hits in a six-run second inning, Houston's Jon Singleton homered among three hits and drove in four runs and the Astros snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 12-7 victory over the Rangers on Monday night.

A reliever for parts of the past two seasons with San Diego, Mikolas faltered in his second career start. He was strong for five innings before fading in the sixth last week in Baltimore. He threw strikes again — getting five strikeouts without a walk — but gave up 12 hits and nine runs in 3 1-3 innings.

Marwin Gonzalez had a bases-loaded triple after five consecutive singles in the second, and Singleton knocked Mikolas (0-1) out of the game with a towering flyball that landed two rows above the Texas bullpen in right-centre for a three-run shot and a 9-2 lead in the fourth.

"There were strikes, but you have to throw quality strikes," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They just found a way to put the ball in play and find the grass out there. And then Gonzalez was the big blow."

Singleton ended an 0-for-10 slump that had dropped the 22-year-old rookie's average to .168 with his second three-hit game of the season and helped boost the Astros to 4-3 this season against their Texas rival.

Houston was 2-17 against the Rangers last year, in its first season in the AL West.

"When you look at the work which he's putting in day in and day out, it's good to see him get some results on the field," manager Bo Porter said. "He has a chance to be a really special middle-of-the-lineup bat for a long time in the big leagues."

Jarred Cosart (9-6) won for the first time in 12 career starts against AL West opponents despite allowing nine hits and six runs — five earned — in five innings.

Every Houston batter had at least one hit after George Springer's infield single with one out in the fourth. Singleton followed with his sixth homer.

"It's a work in progress every day," Singleton said. "Today, I tried not to think too much. I was seeing the ball. That's about it."

Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI double in the third inning and a solo homer in the fifth that pulled the Rangers to 9-6. Beltre's team-leading 12th home run came an inning after Elvis Andrus' three-run double down the left-field line.

Houston relievers Josh Fields and Tony Sipp kept the Rangers from getting any closer, combining to strike out seven in a row starting in the sixth, when Texas trailed 10-6. The streak included Jake Smolinski in his major league debut for Texas in the seventh.

The Rangers, playoff contenders the past four seasons, lost for the 16th time in 19 games. Texas started the day 17 games behind Oakland and finished it just two ahead of last-place Houston, which has lost at least 100 games three straight years.

Singleton had the first of the five straight singles and reached base four times, capped by an RBI double in the eighth. Carlos Corporan also had three hits as the Astros finished with a season-high 17.

Alex Presley hit his fifth homer — a solo shot in the sixth — and was one of four Houston players with two hits. He had to come out after the 10th pitch of an at-bat in the eighth inning when he appeared to injure his right side on a swing. Pinch-hitter L.J. Hoes had a sacrifice fly to right on the first pitch he saw.

NOTES: Rangers RHP Nick Martinez was scratched from Tuesday's start because of a pulled muscle in his rib cage. He's being replaced by RHP Phil Irwin, who made his only big league appearance in a start for Pittsburgh last year.

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