- Associated Press - Friday, August 29, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Nick Tepesch put the Texas Rangers in a tough spot again.

Tepesch was knocked out in the fifth inning, and the Rangers went on to a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Tepesch was working with a 2-0 lead when Jose Altuve reached on a one-out single in the fifth. Tepesch then walked Chris Carter before he was replaced by Ramon Mendez (0-1).

Dexter Fowler reached on an infield single to set up Jason Castro’s second career grand slam, a drive to right for his 13th homer. Castro also snapped an 0-for-20 slump with a single in the second.

“I had a good sinker tonight,” Tepesch said. “I felt like I was commanding my fastball for the most part. Just a matter of throwing a lot of pitches per inning.”

Tepesch threw 89 pitches and was charged with two runs and five hits. He struck out one and walked three after he allowed six runs in 6 1-3 innings in his previous start Saturday.

“He had struggled from pitch one,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “Every inning he was in trouble. That inning there we got to the middle of the order, and I just felt like we needed to shut that inning down, but Mendez just couldn’t get it done.”

Collin McHugh (7-9) pitched seven innings of two-run ball for the Astros. He improved to 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts.

“It was one of those nights where I felt like it could have gone either way the whole night any inning,” McHugh said. “I felt like we started to find a groove a little bit the fifth, sixth, seventh.”

Leonys Martin scored on a double play in the Texas first, and Mike Carp drove in Robinson Chirinos with a sacrifice fly in the third. Martin, Chirinos and Elvis Andrus each had two hits for Texas.

In a scary moment to end the fourth, Rangers right fielder Jim Adduci hit the back of his head on the dirt track and then the padding along the line after tracking down a foul ball and getting undercut by second baseman Rougned Odor. Adduci was removed as a precaution in the fifth for Daniel Robertson.

Adduci said his back hit first, and then he had a bit of whiplash. He said he was day to day.

“It happened so fast,” Adduci said. “It was like boom, and I am on my back laying there. Everything was quick.”

In his six August starts, McHugh gave up eight runs over 37 2-3 innings.

Josh Fields pitched the eighth and Tony Sipp worked the ninth for his second save.

Story Continues →