After falling to their intrastate rivals from North Texas on Friday night, the Astros sought to even the three-game weekend Lone Star Series on Saturday night.
The Rangers started the evening with Jon Gray on the hill, while the Astros started Hunter Brown. Gray would exit the game with no outs in the third inning due to a forearm injury and is being monitored by the team.
The two teams played two scoreless frames of baseball before the offenses got going. The Rangers scored the first two runs of the game in the top of the third, with Marcus Semien singling to bring in Travis Jankowski and sending Willy Tavares to second. Adolis Garcia reached on an infield single to score Tavares and move Semien over to third to give the Rangers an early 2-0 lead.
Ultimately, that’s where the Rangers’ offense would stall, and the Astros’ bats would shift into high gear.
The Astros scoring started when Yordan Alvarez doubled to left field, which brought in Mauricio Dubón and Yainer Díaz to tie the game at two runs a piece. Díaz would continue the Astros’ scoring with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning to score Jeremy Pena.
The seventh inning was spectacular for the Astros, scoring five additional runs and putting the game out of reach of the visiting Rangers. Alvarez walked with the bases loaded to score Jake Meyers. Jose Abreu grounded into a fielder’s choice, but a throwing error by Josh Smith would score Alex Bregman and Dúbon. Pena would round out the evening’s scoring with a double to third, bringing home Alvarez and Abreu.
Hunter Brown was the winning pitcher of record for the Astros, and Cole Ragans was credited with the loss for the Rangers. The rubber match of the series will start on Sunday evening at 7 PM, televised on ESPN.
Written by Greg Atkins