Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Nelson Cruz's grand slam led the Texas Rangers in a 10-5 win over the Houston Astros to open a three-game set on Friday.
David Murphy hit a two-run home run as did Adrian Beltre for the Rangers, who have won six of their last nine games. Nick Tepesch (4-6) benefited from the run support as he gave up four runs on seven hits with a walk and nine strikeouts over five-plus innings of work.
Chris Carter drove in a pair of runs and Jason Castro was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Astros, who have dropped seven of eight. Lucas Harrell was lit up for nine runs - seven earned -- on five hits and six walks in just 3 2/3 innings of work.
The Rangers got on the board in the first inning as Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk and Murphy followed with his 10th homer of the year for a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Elvis Andrus singled with one out and Kinsler and Murphy drew walks to load the bases for Cruz, who clubbed a 1-2 fastball over the left field wall for a grand slam and a 6-0 lead.
Texas continued to pad its lead in the fourth as Leonys Martin tripled to start the frame, Kinsler walked and Murphy hit into a double play to score Martin. Cruz was able to reach base on a Brett Wallace error and Beltre took advantage of the gift with his 17th home run of the season for a 9-0 lead.
Martin singled home Mitch Moreland, who doubled with one out, in the fifth to make it a double-digit lead for the Rangers.
Houston put together a brief rally in the sixth as Castro singled in a run and Carter doubled home two. J.D. Martinez later singled home Carter to make it a 10-4 game.
The Astros got another run in the eighth as Castro scored when a grounder hit to first by Carlos Pena saw Moreland's throw hit off the hand of Carter, who was sliding into second, and the ball went into the outfield to make it a 10-5 game.
Texas has won six of seven games from Houston this season ... It was Tepesch's first win since May 12, as he had gone 0-3 in his previous eight starts ... Harrell is 0-2 in his past four starts, giving up 16 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings.