By JOHN DORN
It's been an uphill grind all season for the Texas Rangers, but -- at least as things stand today -- it's been well worth it.
The team tallied a run in the bottom of the ninth to break a 5-5 tie and knock off the Houston Astros, overtaking the in-state rival for first place in the American League West with 18 games to play.
Mitch Moreland did the honors with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly, scoring Colby Rasmus and clinching the game.
A post shared by Texas Rangers ⚾️ (@rangers) on Sep 15, 2015 at 9:04pm PDT
Prince Fielder had three hits and drove in a run, while Adrian Beltre scored a pair. Houston now slides into the second AL Wild Card spot, where they'd currently travel to the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees.
Rangers 6, Astros 5
Around the Diamond
PIT 5, CHC 4 (Game 1), CHC 2, PIT 1 (Game 2)
Lateral movement in the standings for the two teams chasing the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central. An eighth inning run gave the Pirates the edge in Game 1, and a Dexter Fowler double in the fifth effectively won it for the Cubs in the second game.
WSH 4, PHI 0
The Nationals took advantage of a weak opponent for the second consecutive game, beating the Phillies and gaining a game on the Mets -- cutting the division lead to 8.5 games with 17 to play.
MIA 9, NYM 3
— Mets Report (@mets_fanly) September 16, 2015
A rare dud of a Jacob deGrom outing had the Mets behind early, and by the end of the night, their eight-game winning streak was over. Tempers almost flared when Mets reliever Erik Goedell threw behind Tom Koehler, who was bunting -- Koehler had hit Yoenis Cespedes with a pitch earlier in the game -- but the benches never cleared.
ATL 3, TOR 2
Playing a team that had won just twice this month, the Blue Jays fell in Atlanta on Tuesday. Julio Teheran allowed just two over 5.2 innings, and the bullpen finished off the rest scoreless.
TB 6, NYY 3
Girardi on this catch: "[We] play games in BP at times. We always say, 'Well, Kiermaier's got that.'" pic.twitter.com/ng0P0XvraW
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 16, 2015
Unable to take advantage of Toronto falling to a weak team, the Yankees fell on the road to Jake Odorizzi and the Rays. Nick Franklin and J.P. Arencibia each drove home a pair.
DET 5, MIN 4
With a new competitor in the AL Wild Card race, the Twins fell to 1.5 games back of the Houston Astros. Victor Martinez drove in two runs for the Tigers, while Phil Hughes couldn't get the job done -- allowing six hits and three runs in just three innings of work.
STL 3, MIL 1
With the Pirates suddenly breathing down their necks for first in the Central, the Cardinals extended their division lead back to three games with a win over Milwaukee. It was close, tied at one headed into the 10th inning, but a Jason Heyward bomb put the Cards in front for good.
LAA 4, SEA 3
COL 5, LAD 4
OAK 17, CWS 6
ARI 6, SD 4
BAL 6, BOS 5
KC 2, CLE 0
CIN 9, SF 8