HOUSTON – Michael Young homered twice and drove in three runs, rookie Chris Young took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and the Texas Rangers held off the Houston Astros in a 6-5 victory Saturday that ended a five-game losing streak.

Rod Barajas homered for the second straight game, Alfonso Soriano added a two-run double and Francisco Cordero got five outs for his 18th save in 21 chances. The Rangers won for just the second time in 11 road games.

Texas is 1-5 on its trip. After Sunday’s series finale, the Rangers return home for a four-game series against the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels.

Texas also clinched possession of the Silver Boot trophy that goes to the winner of Lone Star Series. The Rangers won it in 2001 and 2004 on a tiebreaker based on runs.

Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio hit two-run homers, and Morgan Ensberg had a solo shot as the Astros lost at home for the first time in nine games.

Chris Young (7-4), who gave up season highs of five runs and 10 hits in a loss to the Angels on Monday, allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.

Brandon Backe (6-6) lost his third straight start, allowing six runs and five hits, including three homers, in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two in his first defeat in 10 career home starts.

Young had little trouble early with the light-hitting Astros. Their .244 team batting average, 568 hits and 270 runs coming in were all ranked last in the majors.

Young retired 17 of his first 19 batters, allowing walks in the fourth and fifth innings.

The 6-foot-10 right-hander didn’t allow a hit until Biggio’s two-out single to center in the sixth. The crowd of 41,865 at Minute Maid Park came to their feet following the hit, which came on Young’s 83rd pitch.

Berkman homered just over the right-field fence on the next-at bat, and Ensberg followed with another to cut the Rangers’ lead to 6-3. Texas manager Buck Showalter came to the mound to settle Young down, and Young responded by inducing Jason Lane into a groundout to the shortstop to end the inning.

Biggio chased reliever John Wasdin in the eighth with a two-run homer that smacked into the brick wall behind the left-field fence. Cordero entered and finished the inning.

Notes: Michael Young had a multihomer game for the first time this season and sixth time in his career. … Ensberg set a club record for third basemen with 18 homers before the All-Star break. … A 30-inch silver boot was awarded to the Rangers following the game. It replaces the glass boot that was damaged when the Rangers brought it home after winning last year’s interleague series at Houston. … The wives of Rangers and Astros players and coaches participated in a charity softball game, dubbed the “Diamond Boot,” following the game. Astros pitcher Roger Clemens and Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser were the coaches.

AP-ES-06-25-05 1905EDT


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