The Houston Astros came back in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game and send it to extra innings, but wound up losing in twelve to the Texas Rangers. The loss dropped the Astros to 2-5 on their seven game homestand and puts them 7.5 behind the Rangers in the A.L. West.
Rookie starter Joe Musgrove turned in his second straight sterling performance in the majors. The tall righty pitched seven strong innings, allowing only one run on five hits, the normal zero walks, and six strikeouts. Musgrove now has 14 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings pitched in the majors.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish matched Musgrove though, and stifled the Astros offense through seven innings. The Astros' best chance against Darvish came in the bottom of the sixth inning. Singles by George Springer and Jose Altuve created a first and third opportunity, but Carlos Correa grounded out to end the threat.
For the second straight game, the Astros bullpen struggled to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard. Will Harris allowed two straight batters to reach to start the top of the eighth on a walk and a hit batter. The Astros caught Delino DeShields Jr. off third on a fielder's choice, but both Rangers baserunners moved up into scoring postion. After A.J. Hinch summoned Ken Giles, the two runners scored on an RBI double by Jurickson Profar to push the lead to 3-0.
The Astros responded in the bottom of the eighth. Tony Kemp, just recalled from the Triple A Fresno Grizzlies, singled as a pinch hitter for Jason Castro. He moved to second on a George Springer groundout, and was doubled home by Alex Bregman. Jose Altuve followed with a ringing line single to the outfield, and the Astros were back within a run.
Ken Giles came back out for the top of the ninth, and it was a wild one. He ended up loading the bases with one out, but then struckout the next three batters to keep it a one run deficit.
That proved huge as the Astros managed to scratch out a run in the bottom of the ninth. A.J. Reed reached base on a walk, and was replaced by pinch runner Carlos Gomez. Jake Marisnick moved Gomez to second with a bunt. With two outs, Tony Kemp came through with a clutch single to tie the game as Carlos Gomez slid around the sweeping tag at the plate by Jonathan Lucroy.
Chris Devenski worked out of a one out bases loaded jam in the top of the tenth inning, but seemed to run out of gas in the top of the eleventh. He allowed two runs on four hits in the frame as the Rangers went back on top.
The Astros attempted to rally once again in the bottom of the eleventh, as a Jake Marisnick double and Tony Kemp infield hit put the tying runners on base. George Springer worked the count full but swung through an inside fastball to end the game.
After a rough homestand and another tough loss to the Rangers, the Astros face an uphill battle in the A.L. West for the remainder of the season.