Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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Rebuilding doesn’t have to be entirely depressing.

The Astros — predicted by many to be a 100-loss team — won their fifth straight game on Saturday night in Houston, and their second straight against the defending World Series champion Cardinals.

Houston is one game under .500 (13-14), good enough for third place in the National League Central.

Jose Altuve, a 21-year-old Venezuelan second baseman, is batting .346/.389/.529. Shortstop Jed Lowrie, acquired in a steal of a trade this winter with the Red Sox, has a .979 OPS and four home runs. Wandy Rodriguez is sporting a 1.64 ERA through six starts. And left fielder J.D. Martinez ranks 13th in the major leagues with 20 RBI.

There will be regression at some point. The rotation isn’t deep and Wandy is likely to be moved near the deadline for prospects. But the ‘Stros seem to be enjoying their flirtation with relevance and Minute Maid Park is outpacing seven other MLB stadiums — including first-place Cleveland’s Progressive (Jacobs) Field.

Cardinals 2, Astros 8

Dodgers 5, Cubs 1

Phillies 1, Nationals 7

Orioles 8, Red Sox 2

White Sox 3, Tigers 2

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 4

Brewers 2, Giants 5

Reds 2, Pirates 3

Rangers 5, Indians 2 (11 innings)

Yankees 1, Royals 5

Athletics 4, Rays 3 (12 innings)

Braves 13, Rockies 9

Marlins 4, Padres 1

Blue Jays 2, Angels 6

Twins 0, Mariners 7

Hunter Pence exits game with apparent injury

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Rangers OF/DH Hunter Pence exited Sunday afternoon’s game against the Reds after suffering an apparent injury chasing down a ground-rule double hit by José Peraza in the fifth inning. The beat writers are suggesting it’s a groin injury, but we’ll have to wait for the Rangers to provide an update to know for sure.

Pence was 1-for-2 with a two-run home run on the afternoon before suffering the injury. He’s had a rebirth of a season, batting .294/.353/.608 with 15 home runs, 48 RBI, and 44 runs scored in 215 plate appearances.

Shin-Soo Choo and Pence were sharing both the DH spot and left field. If Pence needs to go on the injured list, Danny Santana would likely see an uptick in playing time, particularly in left field.