After needing to use two starting pitchers yesterday, the Astros recalled Dan Straily to start tonight’s game. Straily came up having had consistent success with Triple A Fresno over the past month.
The Astros struck first, with Rasmus scoring on a Valbuena single in the top of the second. In the top of the third, Carlos Gomez added to the Astros lead with a double, scoring Jose Altuve to make it 2-0.
Unfortunately, Straily would be unable to take advantage of the early run support. Prince Fielder would get the Rangers on the scoreboard with a solo shot to start the fourth inning, his 16th homerun on the year.
Straily would run into further trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Chris Gimenez would get the inning started with a single to left, scoring on a Delino DeShields triple. Ultimately the Rangers would plate three in the inning thanks to two more hits, singles by Rougned Odor and Josh Hamilton, and a walk to Mitch Moreland.
Straily would exit after 4 2/3 innings having allowed four earned runs off six hits and three walks. It will be interesting to see if Straily gets another start after tonight, as even with Lance McCullers being sent down to the minors the Astros still have six starters on the major league roster.
Gomez led off the sixth inning with a solo shot to center field cutting the Rangers lead to one. The homerun was Gomez’s first in an Astros uniform and the 100th of his career.
That was the final run the Astros could muster, as they fell to the Rangers 4-3. That isn’t to say that the Astros failed to make things interesting…the Astros would go on to load the bases in the sixth inning with one out, only to see a Luis Valbuena fly out followed by a Marwin Gonalez groundout to leave the bases loaded. The Astros would threaten again in the ninth with a Colby Rasmus walk and Valbuena single to start the inning. Once again the Astros would fail to score a runner from third base with less than two outs, as Jason Castro and Jose Altuve struck out swinging to end the game.
The Astros will turn to reigning AL pitcher of the month Scott Kazmir tomorrow to right the ship and avoid the sweep. The Rangers will counter with Nick Martinez who will be pitching on his 25th birthday.