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Astros Win, Unless You Count the Fifth Inning.

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Tonight, the Astros beat the Rangers 2-1, if you don't count the five runs scored by the Rangers in the fifth inning. Jordan Lyles pitched a fantastic game, except for the five runs (three earned) he allowed in the fifth.

Offense:

Justin Maxwell hit his 7th home run. All or nothing with that guy, but it's nice to see a little power. The Astros struggled to get anything going against Yu Darvish all night, though Jed Lowrie was able to squeeze Jose Altuve across after a walk and a steal. Only Maxwell and Brett Wallace grabbed multiple hits, and J.D. Martinez followed up his Grand Slam game last night with a hat trick tonight - 3 K's while batting fourth as the DH.

Defense:

The first inning featured dual spectacular plays by Chris Johnson and Jose Altuve, both that ended with good digs by Wallace at first. The Astros committed only one error: a bad throw on an attempted CS by Jason Castro in the eigth.

Pitching:

Jordan Lyles pitched an awesome game. He gave up zero runs in 4-2/3 innings. The Ranger's only run came on a Mitch Moreland bomb in the 8th.

Fifth Inning:

And now for the rest of the story. Five runs by the Rangers after Lowrie allowed seven baserunners in a row. Only three of those runs were earned, as the Astros committed two errors in the inning: a bad throw by Johnson that pulled Wallace off the bag, and a miscommunication in right field that led to a fly dropping directly in front of Altuve.

Inning 1:

  • I am excited to cover this game - I believe this is the 3rd Rangers matchup I've had the privelege of writing up. The matchup is Jordan Lyles versus a recently recovered Yu Darvish. Oddly enough, I don't believe I've seen either of these characters pitch. I shall enjoy this.

  • Darvish: What a weird windup. Holds the knee in the air before taking his step towards the batter.
  • Two very good throws by Chris Johnson and Jose Altuve with two good digs by Brett Wallace at first end the inning. Both plays defensive gems.

2:

  • Bogusevic with a single to right ensures that Darvish will not have a perfect game tonight.
  • Really nice inning by Lyles. Ground ball after ground ball.

3:

  • Nice walk and steal by Jose Altuve. You know I like to see that.
  • Woohoo! RBI signle for Jed Lowrie, scoring Altuve. Score Astros 1 Rangers 0.
  • Followed by an admittedly very nice double play. J.D. Martinez is not having a good night as the DH.
  • Rant: What's with "Root. Root. Root."? Why periods? Why not exclamationo points or commas? I submit that "Root! Root! Root!" or "Root, root, root!" is more effective. "Root. Root. Root." suggest detached boredom, false enthusiasm, or even sarcasm. I know the Astros marketing staff won an award for that slogan, but come on.

4:

  • Darvish has a really nasty slow curveball. Reminds me of Oswalt's. They'll be able to compare notes in a few weeks.
  • Back-to-Back singles for the Rangers. I hope Lyles settles down and we have a nice short game that ends with an Astros win.
  • Lyles has a nice curveball too. Worked out of another jam to finish the inning.

5:

  • Lousy throw by Chris Johnson leads to an error and a runner on second with one out. Bummer.
  • Especially when it's followed by a HBP. Lyles is really struggling with the strike zone.
  • Defensive swing by Michael Young on a high inside pitch scores Kinsler. Not woohoo. Score Astros 1 Rangers 1.
  • Score Astros 1 Rangers 2 on a single to left.
  • What happens when three Astros try to catch the same ball in Right Field? Naturally, the ball drops between them, loading the bases.
  • Score Astros 1 Rangers 4 on a single by David Murphy. Two errors this inning too, yuck!
  • Score Astros 1 Rangers 5 on yet another bloop single. Not a hard-hit ball this inning. Lyles chased from the game, and here comes Fernando Abad.
  • WOW! Wallace might have a hole through him after that line drive. Barely got his glove up in time. Abad cleans up the inning.

6:

  • Bunt single / Stolen base for Schafer. Let's see if they can do something about with this now.
  • Nope.

7:

  • Home Run Justin Maxwell! When he hits it, he means it. Score Astros 2 Rangers 5.
  • Followed by a double by Jason Castro. And a rare strikeout looking by Altuve.
  • Worst song of all time? My vote is Richard Harris' "Macarthur Park." Though, Maynard Ferguson's version is awesome, and Weird Al Yankovic's "Jurrassic Park" is an all-time great.
  • Rhiner Cruz looks tight tonight. Compared to Lyles, the pitches all seem around the zone, but not in it.

8:

  • Darvish still in the 8th inning. He's had a good night.
  • Strikes out the side. Good grief.
  • Mirch Moreland hits a home run all the way to Oklahoma. Score Astros 2 Rangers 6.

9:

  • Nothing happened.