ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre hit his 26th homer for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, who reached 20 games over .500 for the first time this season with a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Beltre's two-run drive came against rookie right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-1) in the sixth inning. Beltre, whose 160 hits are one behind Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead, also doubled and scored in the second.
Matt Dominguez homered for Houston, which has lost seven in row and 13 of 14 against the Rangers.
Neal Cotts (5-2) struck out the first three batters he faced over 1 1-3 innings and was credited with the win. The lefty was the second reliever after Travis Blackley pitched four innings against his former team only a week after being traded to Texas.
Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth for his 37th save in 39 chances.
Cosart allowed three runs over six innings, raising his ERA from 1.15 to 1.60. It was the first time in his seven major league starts that he yielded more than two runs.
Texas was down 2-1 when Ian Kinsler drew a one-out walk in the sixth. Beltre then hit a drive to right for the first homer surrendered by Cosart in his 45 major league innings — and one that had the 23-year-old biting his glove in disgust.
Beltre is hitting .434 (33 of 76) over his last 21 games, raising his season average 19 points to .326, third in the American League.
After a leadoff double in the second, Beltre went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield single by Alex Rios.
Blackley, traded from Houston to Texas just last week, was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock to start in place of right-hander Alexi Ogando, who was put on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
The 30-year-old Australian, who made 42 relief appearances for Houston, allowed three hits and two runs. The Rangers expected for him to throw around 65 pitches, and he threw 66, 42 for strikes.
Chris Carter walked and scored on Dominguez's 17th homer in the second.
There were 11 pitches in the first, including a hard shot by L.J. Hoes that ricocheted off Blackley's foot toward the third base line. Jurickson Profar made a barehanded grab and threw in one motion to retire Hoes.
Astros manager Bo Porter quickly came out to unsuccessfully argue with umpire Lance Barksdale that Profar's throw pulled first baseman Mitch Moreland off the bag. Under the expansion of video review planned for next season, it was the kind of challenge Porter may have won.
Max Stassi, called up from Double-A Corpus Christi earlier Tuesday, made his major league debut as the designated hitter and got a single in the fifth. He will also remember what happened after his first major league hit.
A comebacker by Marwin Gonzalez was snagged by reliever Jason Frasor, who turned and made a high throw that went off shortstop Andrus' glove and caught by second baseman Ian Kinsler backing up the play. But Stassi, apparently thinking he was already out, wandered off second base and was tagged by Kinsler.
Stassi had another single in the seventh.
NOTES: Stassi, a catcher, was called up after C Carlos Corporan was put on the seven-day concussion DL after being hit in the mask by a foul tip Monday night. Corporan was returning to Houston to see a specialist.