ARLINGTON, Texas — Lisalverto Bonilla did something on Wednesday night that no Texas Rangers pitcher had ever done.
The rookie right-hander pitched six scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros to become the first Ranger to win his first three career starts.
"Wow! That's amazing," Texas interim manager Tim Bogar said.
Bonilla's wins all have come during a stretch when the Rangers have won 11 of 12 games, including their last four.
Their sweep of Houston was the Astros' third loss in a row and seventh in nine games.
Bonilla (3-0), promoted Sept. 2 from Triple-A Round Rock, allowed four hits and struck out seven in six scoreless innings.
He was one of seven rookies in Texas' starting lineup. They didn't play like rookies.
Bogar said, "He doesn't have a heartbeat out on the mound. I don't think he ever gets excited."
Rookie Phil Klein struck out the side in the ninth inning. Rougned Odor and Ryan Rua, hit home runs against veteran Jose Veras to break the game open with four runs in the seventh inning.
"You look at Rua's at-bats leading up to that, and the last thing you think is he's going to hit a three-run homer," Bogar said.
Odor also doubled to end a nine-pitch at bat in the first inning and walked on seven pitches in the fourth.
"I'm working on my strike zone," he said. "Before I swing at everything, but now I'm more looking for my pitch."
Houston starter Scott Feldman (8-12) allowed only one hit through 4 1-3 innings. With one out in the fifth, Leonys Martin bunted for a single and scored on Andrus' double down the left field line.
Andrus has driven in six runs in his last nine games after a stretch of 11 games without an RBI.
The Astros' run came on Jonathan Villar's homer against Klein in the eighth.
Martin threw out Robbie Grossman at home plate to end the top of the third inning. He was trying to score on a single by Jake Marisnick, but rookie catcher Tomas Telis took Martin's one-hop throw and tagged the sliding Grossman's back.
In Bonilla's three starts, he has allowed only four earned runs in 17 innings, a 2.12 ERA.
The Rangers had the major leagues' worst record, and the inside track to the first pick in next year's draft, before their current hot streak. The Arizona Diamondbacks (63-96) are now 2 ½ games worse than Texas' 65-93.
Rangers: OF Jim Adduci (concussion) has come off the disabled list but hasn't started because he's not ready to hit. Manager Tim Bogar said Adduci could play in the field or run the bases.
Astros: Chris Carter, in the original lineup at first base, switched with Marc Krauss and became the DH. Manager Tom Lawless said Carter "has a little side-bottom something something, so he doesn't need to be standing all night." . OF George Springer (quadriceps) is with the team but won't play again this season.
Rangers RHP Colby Lewis (10-14, 5.34) will make his team-leading 29th start Thursday in the opener of a four-game series against visiting Oakland. He won his only start against the Athletics this season.
The Astros are off Thursday before beginning their season-ending three-game series Friday in New York against the Mets. RHP Brad Peacock (4-9, 4.82) is scheduled to pitch.
PLAYING A CONTENDER
Bogar said the Rangers would "do what's right the last 4 days of the playoff race" in the series against Oakland, in a four-team battle for the American League's last four postseason berths. "We've got to do every other team fair."
The winner of the Astros-Rangers series wins the Silver Boot, which is returning to Houston for the first time since 2006. But after this series sweep, Bogar found a miniature aluminum-foil boot waiting for him in the post-game interview room.
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