Kyle Tucker hit a pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning to break the tie, and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 Thursday in the final game of the series, which began with an impressive duel of starters.
Tucker’s two-run shot came off Matt Bush (0-1), Texas’ first reliever after left-hander Martin Perez allowed only one run.
Two-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander (2-0) struck out eight and allowed one run over seven innings. It was his fourth start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. The right-hander threw 91 pitches, 64 of which were strikes, and he didn’t walk.
His ERA improved to 1.73.
Blake Taylor pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Astros. Rafael Montero pitched the ninth because closer Ryan Pressly remains on the disabled list, earning his first save despite Corey Seager’s one-out homer.
For the Astros, Cubans Yordan Álvarez 4-1 with an RBI, Yuli Gurriel 4-0 and Aledmys Díaz 3-0. The Dominican Jeremy Peña 2-0 with a run scored and his compatriot José Siri 2-0. Puerto Rican Martin Maldonado 3-0.
For the Rangers, the Cubans Adolis García 3-1 with an RBI and Andy Ibañez 3-1.