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Astros 4, Rangers 2: McHugh, Castro Get Team Closer To Silver Boot

McHugh fought off some tough luck early to pitch a great game, and Castro provided all the offense as the Astros win the first of this four game series.

Stacy Revere

So I got called in from the bullpen tonight, and I hope I can do as well as the Astros bullpen did tonight.

After dropping 2 of 3 to the A's, including some "shoulda" and "coulda" moments. The Astros now have the chance to turn it around against the worst baseball team in the world, the Rangers.  Seeing how hard the Rangers have fallen this year has been hard to watch.  (No it hasn't.)  After coming within an out of winning the World Series just a couple of years ago, I feel bad for their fans that they now reside deep in the cellar.  (No I don't.)   I also find no pleasure in scouring Twitter for Ranger Fan who still, at this point in the season, tweets "zOMG...I cant believe we lost to the Astros!  How embarrassing! (@rAnGeRgUrL97)".

Collin McHugh took the hill looking to continue his success in the month of August.  He has only allowed 1 run in 4 of his last 5 games (and in the 5th game he only allowed 2 runs).  It started a little shaky in the first inning, as McHugh gave up a bloop single to Leonys Martin, and a single on a hit-and-run by Elvis Andrus.  Martin came home on a double play, and McHugh got out of the inning without giving up any more runs.  In the 3rd, McHugh loaded the bases on 3 singles, and allowed a sacrifice fly to Mike Carp to make the score 2-0.  He then struck out the next 2 batters to end the inning.  That was all the Rangers would score on the evening.  From the 4th inning until he came out in the 7th, McHugh only allowed 3 more baserunners.  He finished the night with 6 strikeouts and no walks.

On offense, the runs were hard to find for the Astros in the early going.  The Astros had runners in scoring position in each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings, but could not get the hits to drive anyone in.  All their scoring happened in the 5th inning.  The inning started with a Jose Altuve single, followed by a Chris Carter walk, and a Dexter Fowler single.  With the bases loaded Jason Castro got greedy and hit a no-doubt grand slam off of Rangers reliever Roman Mendez to take the lead 4-2.

Josh Fields and Tony Sipp pitched the last 2 hitless innings, with Sipp recording the save.  Great comeback by Tony after his implosion Monday night.

Looks like the start of a great weekend of baseball.

Fun Facts:

Altuve extended his current hit streak to 6 games.

Castro hit the Astros 5th grand slam of the year.

Astros are now 1 win away from winning the Silver Boot Series.