Before 2009 no Astros/Colt 45s team had even been swept in a season series versus any opponent. This version of the team risked breaking that 47 year streak tonight against the Texas Rangers. Going into the game, you couldn't help but be pessimistic of our chances to grab a win. Brandon Backe was making his first start of the season and toed the rubber in the first inning with a double digit ERA. When it was all said and done, Backe pitched decent enough to keep the Astros in the game. The bullpen pitched five scoreless innings as the Astros won 5-3.
Almost immediately, the Astros found themselves behind 1-0 as Michael Young hit a solo home run in the first inning. Chris Davis did likewise in the second frame, and the Rangers finished their scoring in the fourth as Nelson Cruz stole third base and scored on a throwing error by Humberto Quintero. Backe left the game after the fourth inning. He allowed those three runs and walked four batters as well. More importantly, the Galveston native kept a potent Rangers lineup close until the offense woke up.
A two out rally in the fifth got the Astros on the board, when Darin Erstad doubled and Quintero singled him in. The sixth inning saw the first four batters reach, and the Astros scored two runs to tie the score at three apiece. While the offense was scoring runs, the newly invented Wesley Wright did his part to prevent Ranger runs. Wright pitched scoreless ball for 2.2 innings of work. It's one positive outing, but it looks as if Wright is a one trick pony no more.
It was in the eighth that the Astros took a lead that they would not relinquish. Hunter Pence got his first hit of the game to lead off the inning. It just so happened that the hit was of the four base variety. Up now 4-3, Humberto Quintero singled with two outs and was pushed home on an RBI tripled by Michael Bourn.
LaTroy Hawkins induced a Ian Kinsler double play ball in the eighth to escape trouble. The Rangers table setter was 0/4 on the day, a result of a strong effort by our pitchers. Defense again saved our team's bacon in the ninth, with Miguel Tejada defying his UZR by ranging far to his right and making a force out throw at second base for the first out of the inning. With two runners on, and two outs, Nelson Cruz lined out to a diving Hunter Pence to give the Astros their first victory of the season against Texas.
Heading into Minnesota, the Astros are 3-3 on their nine game roadtrip.