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Game No. 5 Preview: Astros at Rangers

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Astros look to pick up their first series win of the season with Roberto Hernandez on the mound.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (2-2) at Arlington Rangers (2-3), 7:05 p.m. (CST)

TV: Roots Sports SW, Fox Sports SW, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Rangers SBNation BlogLone Star Ball

Pitching matchup

RHP Roberto Hernandez (8-11, 4.10 ERA, 1.39 WHIP with two teams in 2014) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (0-1, 9.00 ERA, 1.75 WHIP)

Preview

The Astros broke out of their offensive shell somewhat on Friday, scoring 5 runs against the Rangers. Jed Lowrie and Colby Rasmus each hit a home run. In total, the Astros collected 10 hits against a taxed Rangers pitching staff. Starter Derek Holland left the game after one inning with a sub scapular strain. Holland won't be able to pick up a baseball for 4-6 weeks. The Astros 7-8-9 hitters were 7-for-10 with 3 extra-base hits and 4 RBI.

Houston faces Yovani Gallardo today. Gallardo grew up in the Fort Worth area and is making his first start in Arlington as a Ranger. The right-hander made the Opening Day start for the Rangers in Oakland, giving up 4 runs over 4 innings.

Gallardo, a former Brewer, has quite the track record against the Astros. He is 13-3 with a 2.69 ERA against Houston in his career. That is the most wins Gallardo has against any Major League team. Though Gallardo's last start against the Astros came on June 20, 2013 - he allowed three unearned runs in seven inning of work.

The Ranger currently have no left-handed pitchers in the bullpen for manager Jeff Banister to lean on. The Astros can stack the lineup full of left-handed bats, all of which have a positive history against Gallardo:

  • Jason Castro: .385 (5-13), 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 4 SO
  • Jed Lowrie .375 (3-8), 1 K, 2 BB
  • Colby Rasmus .313 (5-16), 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 7 K
  • Luis Valbuena .333 (7-21) 2 2B, 3 BB, 5 SO
The Astros send out Roberto Hernandez for his first start as an Astro. The Spring Training non-roster invite fought his way on to the club with consistent pitching - 3-0, 3.71 ERA, 1.29 in 17 IP this spring. Houston isn't expecting miracles, they just hoping Hernandez can keep the game in striking distance. Herandez has made 6 starts at Globe Life Park, posting a record of 2-3, 4.50 ERA, 1.40 WHIP. Looking at the matchup with the Rangers against Hernandez in his career:
  • Elvis Andrus: .353 (6-17), 3 BB, 2 SO
  • Adrian Beltre .222 (4-18) 2 HR, 6 BB, 3 SO
  • Prince Fielder: 1.000 (2-2), 1 BB
  • Leonys Martin: 1.000 (2-2), 1 BB
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