HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers are officially in a nose dive.
Perhaps it shouldn't come as a shock, especially considering the preseason predictions and assumptions most had about the club, but here we are.
The Rangers' losing streak reached a season-high six games Saturday night in Houston as the Astros laid it on 6-1 at Minute Maid Park.
If Texas isn't circling the wagons just yet, it's at least preparing for the formation. That means getting serious about trading valuable players such as Mike Minor, Hunter Pence or Shin-Soo Choo should the right deal come along before the July 31 deadline.
The Rangers (50-48) are 2-6 since the All-Star break and their chances of hanging around in the wild-card race are slipping away. In fact, they could find themselves in fourth place in their division soon behind the Los Angeles Angels.
With the win, the Astros clinched the Silver Boot trophy with three games remaining this season, including Sunday's series finale. Houston has a 10-6 advantage. The Astros have won it three consecutive seasons.
Ariel Jurado was charged with five runs on eight hits in five innings. The Astros hit two homers, including Yuli Gurriel's three-run shot in the fifth that gave Houston a 5-1 lead.
Choo's solo homer in the fourth provided the lone Rangers' run. Texas was held to two hits and struck out 13 times. Texas leads the majors with 994 strikeouts this season.
Astros starter Jose Urquidy allowed one run (Choo's homer) on two hits over seven innings to earn his first-career win in his third major league start. He struck out nine and walked none.
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