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Rangers 5, Astros 3: A Tale of Two Bullpens

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Astros had chances all night but capitalize on very few...then bad things happen.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What Happened

The game looked like what most thought it would tonight.  It was close all evening, with both starters keeping the other teams offense under control for the most part.  It came down to a battle of bullpens.  That's when it got ugly.

The Astros got on the board first in the first, as Jose Altuve took the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a 1-0 lead (that's a lot of firsts).  The Rangers would come right back and tie it  in the next inning.  Jed Lowrie misplayed a Prince Fielder pop-up to lead off the bottom of the second.  Mike Napoli followed with a single to center.  Scott Kazmir got the next two batters out, but then Rougned Odor lined a double to center.  Fielder scored, but a great relay throw from Jake Marisnick to Carlos Correa to Hank Conger (and a great tag by Conger) cut down Napoli trying to score.

The Astros reclaimed the lead in the fifth inning.  Marisnick doubled to left center.  He then went to third on a balk on Cole Hamels.  George Springer hit a shot to first and Marisnick beat the throw home with a great slide to make the score 2-1.  The Rangers claimed their first lead of the night when Mitch Morland drove an 0-1 pitch from Kazmir for a 2-run homer.

Houston tied it back up in the seventh inning when Colby Rasmus smoked a ball off the chest of Moreland into right field to drive in Correa.

Will Harris came in to the game in the eighth inning and picked up right where he left off his last appearance...getting crushed.  He gave up the winning homer to C.J. Cron two nights ago, and tonight he gave up a 2-run shot to dead center field to Fielder to go down 5-3.  The effective Rangers bullpen was much more effective and effectively shut down the Astros over the last two innings to take game one in this four game series.

The loss is not all on Harris...just the most visible part.  The offense ended the following innings with runners in scoring position:  third, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth.  They even had the leadoff man on in the ninth.  It's needless to say, but they are having a hard time stringing together 2 hits in a row.

They will meet tomorrow for game 2 of the series as Collin McHugh will take the mound against Derek Holland.

Fun Facts

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