BY: Richard W. Humphrey

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rangers came up with five runs in the fourth inning Wednesday night to polish off Houston 7-3 in the final meeting between the two teams this season. It’s a shame the Astros can’t stay longer. Texas finished with a 17-2 record over the spacemen, winning 17 of the final 18 games after losing to the Astros on opening day.

Martin Perez (10-5) was Wednesday’s starting and winning pitcher, becoming the third 10-game winner on the Rangers’ staff. He completed seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out eight and walked one.

The Rangers’ fourth began quietly enough as Adrian Beltre and A. J. Pierzynski grounded out to start the inning. From there the Rangers tagged together five hits (four singles and a double), a walk and a hit batsman to score five runs. Leonys Martin’s bases loaded double was the big hit, driving in three runs.

Ian Kinsler hit the Rangers’ only home run of the game, a solo shot for the final tally of the night.

However, all the win did for the Rangers was keep pace in the Wild Card race. They remain a game behind Cleveland and two behind Tampa Bay, as both teams also won Wednesday night.

In New York, the Rays again breezed to a 8-3 win over the Yankees. Former Vanderbilt player and former Cy Young Award winner, David Price, held the Yankees in check for seven innings to win his ninth game of the year. He walked no one and gave up six hits to allow two Yankees’ runs. His strikeout total was eight.

Evan Longoria was the offensive force for Tampa. He hit two home runs and drove in four. David Dejesus also homered and drove in two.

In Cleveland, the Indians beat the White Sox again 7-2. Danny Salazar and five relievers held the Sox at bay. Salazar (2-3) was the winning pitcher. Nick Swisher drove in a pair with his 21st home run, and Asdrubal Cabrera also drove in two.

Cleveland finished with 17 wins in 19 games against the pale hose.

The game wrapped up the Tribe’s home regular season schedule. They travel to Minnesota for four games to finish the season this weekend. Their magic number to clinch a Wild Card berth in the playoffs is down to four – any combination of Cleveland wins and Texas losses totaling four will qualify the Indians for the playoffs.

Tampa Bay plays the Yankees again Thursday night, and then finishes this weekend with three games in Toronto. Their magic number is three to claim a post-season spot.

Texas has the biggest task this weekend as the L. A. Angels come to Arlington for four games to finish the season. Los Angeles arrives on a serious roll as they are 8-0-1 in their last nine series and are 23-9 over their last 32 games.

Follow on Twitter @Rangerrap.

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