In April, the Houston Astros went to North Texas and took two out of three games from the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park. In the first week in May, the Rangers made the trip to Houston and ended a ten-game winning streak with a sweep of the Astros in Minute Maid Park. In the first meeting between the natural rivals since May, the Astros tied Silver Boot Series with a 3-2 win at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
The Astros took the lead in the second inning after designated hitter Evan Gattis hit his team leading fifth triple of the season over the head of Leonys Martin. With one out and runners on the corners, L.J. Hoes hit a single into right field to score Gattis and the game’s openng tally. In the third, Houston got on the board again with five straight singles to lead-off the inning. Jake Marisnick led-off with a double down the left field line and Jose Altuve followed with a double of his own into right-center to add to the lead. Marwin Gonzalez would add another to the lead on a single by Carlos Correa to give Houston a 3-0 lead.
The Rangers had their chances early off of Astros starter Collin McHugh, but couldn’t push runs across. In the first, the Rangers got four one-out hits in a row but, due to a baserunning mistake by Rougned Odor trying to stretch a single into a double, and a 3-1 ground out by Josh Hamilton, couldn’t push across leaving the bases loaded. Adrian Beltre put a run on the board for the Rangers in the sixth on a single by Mitch Moreland, but could only add one run to that total. The Rangers had each of their first five hitters in the lineup with at least two hits, but could only push two runs across the plate. Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch spoke about the rarity of that after the game, ” That was incredible. To have that many hits and not really create any runs for them. Obviously for us, we pitched out of a few jams. They swung the bats pretty well, we swung the bats pretty well early in the game. That wasn’t your typical 3-2 game. A very unique way to kick off the second half.”
Collin McHugh (10-5) got the win on the mound for the Astros pitching six innings while giving up one run on 11 hits and striking out four. ” He pounded the strikezone great. He was really in the zone early with all of his pitches. He had a really good breaking ball, he initiated contact; some of those were singles. You don’t see too often a guy give up four hits in an inning and not give up a run,” Hinch said about his starter after the game. Luke Gregorson came on for the save in the ninth.
Texas Rangers starter Martin Perez (0-1) made his first start of the season after returning from Tommy John Surgery from an injury that has kept him out of the rotation since May of 2014. The lefty pitched five innings and gave up three runs on nine hits while walking and striking out two each in the loss.
Leading the charge for the Astros in the second half opener was Evan Gattis who was two for three with a triple and a run scored for the home nine. Carlos Correa added a hit and an RBI to the team effort and Marwin Gonzalez went two for five with a run scored as well. For the Rangers, each of the first five hitters tallied at least two hits, but only two runs came across. Adrian Beltre, who scored on a Rasmus throwing error, went two for five on the night while Elvis Andrus provided the Rangers final tally on a double into the left-center field gap in the eighth to score Moreland from second.
These teams take the field on Saturday evening for game two of the three game set as Scott Feldman (4-4) and Colby Lewis (8-4) are set to take the mound for a 6:10 start in Houston. Chris Carter is going to be day-to-day after suffering a sprained ankle coming off of the bag in the second inning to field a throw from Jose Altuve.
WP: Collin McHugh (10-5)
LP: Martin Perez (0-1)
SAVE: Luke Gregorson (19)