The Astros on the road this season are the same story repeated again and again. Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Astros couldn't come through with men on base, and couldn't pull out a close game on the road. This time it was a walk-off loss to a Rangers club who have knocked the Astros out of first place.
The game started poorly for the Astros. They couldn't capitalize on two hits in the top of the first, and Colin McHugh suffered through a terrible bottom of the inning. All told the Rangers scored four runs on four hits (many of them of the soft variety), a walk, a hit by pitch, two stolen bases and an error.
The Astros didn't fold, putting together their own big inning in the top of the second. The first four batters (Colby Rasmus, Chris Carter, Jonathan Villar and Hank Conger) all reached, and three came in to score. With two on and one out however, they couldn't bring any more home.
They would take the lead in the top of the fourth, as Evan Gattis came through with a clutch two out single with the bases loaded to score Hank Conger and Jake Marisnick. Unfortunately, that ended the Astros scoring on the night.
Colin McHugh gave back the slim lead in the bottom of the fourth, and it became a tight bullpen battle until the Rangers finally broke through in the bottom of the ninth. Prince Fielder continued his scorching hot series with a single to left field. Adrian Beltre followed with a single to center that moved the winning run to third. Pinch-runner Drew Stubbs came home on a sacrifice lineout from Mitch Moreland.
All in all it was a nine inning game that took almost four hours with thirteen pitchers used by the two clubs. After all that time, filled with tense drama, it once again ended in heartbreak for the Astros.
It's hard to spin this one in any sort of positive manner. The Astros have been terrible on the road all year, and it's finally caught up to them. By my count, they are now 6-19 in one run games on the road this year. Yeesh.
The one ray of hope is that ace Dallas Keuchel takes the mound tomorrow for the Astros. They need someone to come up big and write a different ending to what has been a depressing story on the road.