Astros Fall in Weekend Finale, Series to Rangers

The Astros entered Sunday night’s nationally televised contest against the Texas Rangers looking to take the first Lone Star Series of the season against their intra-state rivals from the Metroplex. Despite losing Friday’s series opener, the Houston bats got hot on Saturday night, and Dusty Baker’s crew looked to keep the momentum going.

Framber Valdez got the start for the Astros against newcomer Andrew Heaney from the Rangers, who enjoyed a tremendous debut for Texas. Both pitchers took care of business and kept runs off the board through the first five innings of the game. Heaney was replaced after five scoreless innings by Brock Burke.

In the top of the seventh, with Valdez holding onto a one-hit shutout, it all started to unravel for the left-handed pitcher.

Nathaniel Lowe doubled to lead off the seventh inning. Adolis García to reached first after an error by Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena, followed by Josh Jung singled to load the bases. Jonah Heim walked to bring Lowe home.

Robbie Grossman followed suit with an RBI to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Valdez exited the game for reliever Hector Neris, who would retire the next two batters he faced before Marcus Semien stepped up to the plate.

With the bases loaded, Semien belted a home run to left field to give the Rangers a 6-0 lead heading into the seventh-inning stretch.

The Astros wouldn’t go quietly as Burke loaded the bases with a walk following Jeremy Pena’s double, who was relieved by Jonathan Hernandez. Hernandez would walk in Pena to bring the score to 6-1 Rangers before Alvarez grounded out to end the Astros threat.

In the eighth, Heim hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and Leody Taveras would hit a two-run double to complete the scoring for the evening.

With the win, the Rangers claim their first series victory in Houston in over five years. Burke was the winning pitcher of record for the Rangers as Valdez took the loss for the Astros.

The Astros will host the Toronto Blue Jays starting tomorrow at 7:10 PM CDT.


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