Rangers 12, Astros 0: Alex Rios hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats and finished 4-for-4 with four RBIs while Derek Holland ended a personal eight-game winless streak with his seventh career shutout as host Texas pounded Houston.
Rios doubled in the first, reached on an infield single in the second, homered in the fourth and tripled in the sixth to become the seventh player in Rangers history to record a cycle. Holland (10-9), who was 0-3 with a 5.08 ERA during his slide, allowed six hits to give Texas only its sixth win in 21 games.
The Rangers moved within one game of idle Cleveland for the second wild-card spot in the American League. Jordan Lyles (7-9) fell to 0-5 with a 9.82 ERA in six career outings against the Rangers, surrendering seven runs and seven hits over three frames as Houston lost a season-high 10th straight contest.
Texas scored in each of the first four innings, highlighted by Rios' two-run double in the first and Leonys Martin' bases-clearing double in the third. Elvis Andrus singled home a run in the fourth ahead of Rios, who hammered a 0-2 changeup to stake the Rangers to a 9-0 advantage.
Rios completed his first career cycle during a three-run sixth, following Andrus' leadoff single with a RBI triple to the wall in right-center. Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland capped the scoring with sacrifice flies while Holland allowed only three singles over his last four innings to record his second shutout of the season.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Rios is the third player to hit for the cycle this season. Texas hitters have recorded three of the last five cycles in the American League, joining Beltre (Aug. 24, 2012) and Bengie Molina (July 16, 2010). … Houston (51-106) has scored 14 runs during its losing streak and is one loss away from matching the franchise record it set last season. … The Rangers defeated the Astros for the ninth straight time and have outscored their in-state rival 116-64 while taking 15 of the 17 meetings between the teams this season.