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Rangers 4, Astros 3: Rangers Take Advantage Of Opportunities To Win Series Opener

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Tropeano has a couple of rough innings to take the loss, but pitches well otherwise. Altuve continues hit parade, gets number 221.

Tom Pennington

With a little sadness, here we are at the last week of the 2014 season.  It has been a good one, with more ups than downs on the field.  I'm ready for the 2015 season, but before that it's time to take care of the Rangers one more series this year.

Nick Tropeano gets his third start of the year.  Started out strong, setting down the first 7 batters he faced before the trouble started.  In the 3rd he gave up back-to-back singles to Robinson Chirinos and Guilder Rodriguez, and a walk to Leonys Martin to load the bases.  After getting a pop out, Rougned Odor hit a bases clearing triple to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.

Astros got one back in the top of the 5th in a very Astros way.  Jake Marisnick singled, and moved to second on a wild pitch.  He moved to 3rd on a Alex Presley groundout, and came home on a Matt Dominguez groundout to make it 3-1.  Jonathan Villar led off the top of the 6th with a long double to right field.  Robbie Grossman moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt, but still reached first on an error by the third baseman.  Jose Altuve drove in Villar with a double to left-center, his 221st hit of the year.  Grossman then came in on a sacrifice fly by Chris Carter to tie the game at 3.

NiTro got into more trouble in the bottom of the 7th.  He hit the first batter, Jake Smolinski, and then allowed him to take 2nd on a wild pitch.  After getting 2 outs, he issued an intentional walk to Chirinos, and then gave up a single to Rodriguez (that for just a second looked like a line-out to Villar) to drive in Smolinski for a 4-3 Rangers lead.

The Astros had their chances in the last 2 innings, but end up dropping the first game of this series.  Win number 70 will have to wait until tomorrow night when Brett Oberholtzer takes the hill for his final start of the year.

Fun Facts

Altuve got hit number 221, which is the most hits since someone hit 220 hits in some previous year.  (I can't keep up with all the weird stats this past week...)

Astros are still above .500 for the month of September, with a record of 10-9.

Guilder Rodriguez for the Rangers is a 13 year minor league vet, and his hit in the 3rd was his first major league hit.  Then the announcers misidentified his wife in the stands as his mom.

Tweet Of The Night

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Another first for Jose Altuve: The Jump Swing <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/astros?src=hash">#astros</a> <a href="https://t.co/EZxxTwarUn">https://t.co/EZxxTwarUn</a></p>&mdash; Ryan Dunsmore (@d_more55) <a href="https://twitter.com/d_more55/status/514238994994192384">September 23, 2014</a></blockquote>

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