With 9th straight W, Astros first to 40 victories

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Rangers starter Andrew Cashner had just one bad stretch, and it came in the third inning, when six straight batters reached base with one out to send home four runs. Carlos Beltran hit a two-run single that inning to go with his home run in the second.

The Astros are now 40-16 with the best record in the Major Leagues and their best start after 56 games in club history. The previous best was 34-22. The Astros have also won their last nine straight road games, the second-longest streak in club history.

The Rangers have lost 10 of their last 13 after their own 10-game winning streak ended. They are now 14 games behind the Astros in the American League West.

Long single sets up rally: The Astros, with the score 1-1, started a four-run third inning with a one-out single by George Springer and a walk to Josh Reddick. Jose Altuve followed with a drive to deep right-center. Center fielder Jared Hoying raced back and seemed to have a chance, only to pull up at the last second. Springer, tagging on the play, ended up at third, and Altuve was left with a single to load the bases. Carlos Correa followed with an RBI single to left, Beltran drove in two more with a base hit to right and a fourth run scored on a wild pitch before the inning was over.

Correa's RBI single

Rangers’ rallies cut short: The Rangers drove McCullers from the game with a three-run fifth, but they missed out on a bigger inning. Springer made a belly-flop catch of Shin-Soo Choo‘s fly ball to right-center, and reliever Chris Devenski, entering with two on and one out, struck out Rougned Odor and Jonathan Lucroy to end the threat. The Rangers then looked like they were in business in the seventh after Elvis Andrus singled and Adrian Beltre got on. But with one out, Houston manager A.J. Hinch replaced Luke Gregerson with Will Harris, and Harris struck out both Odor and Lucroy to preserve the Astros’ one-run lead.

Harris strikes out Lucroy

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas and covered the Astros on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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