That was quite an exciting game! Let's get right down to it.
The Houston Astros brought the bats out to play today against Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish. They scored two in the first inning thanks to a George Springer lead off home run and a Yulieski Gurriel single to score Alex Bregman.
Another great scoring performance in the fourth inning led to three more runs. Colby Rasmus led off the inning with a sharp single and quickly advanced to second after a Tyler White walk. He'd later score on a double by Jake Marisnick. During this particular at-bat, Marisnick led off trying to bunt and later punished a Darvish mistake right across the heart of the plate. It was a nice sequence. Springer followed up with an RBI single, scoring White and advancing Marisnick to third. Alex Bregman would end the scoring with an RBI groundout, and ending Darvish's night. It did appear as though Darvish was in some discomfort before he left the game.
The Astros would tack on another run in the top of the fifth, caveman style. Evan Gattis ripped a homer to center field after being down 0-2 in the count. It was quite the feat of the strength.
In the top of the sixth, the Astros capped off their scoring with one more run. After a Marisnick fly out to start the inning, Springer followed with a walk. He'd then advance to third on a Bregman single. Springer then scored on an error by Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, who failed to hold onto the transfer from short stop Jurickson Profar.
Astros starter pitcher Collin McHugh started out the game brilliantly. Through three innings he was the Doctor McHugh of last season, striking out three by throwing fast balls for strikes early and often, and finishing batters off with the curve ball. It looked as though he'd end the Astros starters' consecutive poor pitching streak, that is until the fourth inning.
After the Astros put up five total runs in three innings, Collin McHugh started leaking runs. Rougned Odor hit a two run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Although McHugh was able to escape with only the two runs, he did allow two more base runners to reach with two outs before retiring Profar for the third.
It all fell apart in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Rangers started chipping away at the lead with a lead off single by Nomar Mazara. Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran followed up with RBI doubles, cutting the Astros lead to 6-4. Beltran advanced to third on an Adrian Beltran groundout and then scored on an RBI single by Odor, making the score 6-5 and ending Collin's night. McHugh pitched 4.1 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits while walking 2 and striking out 3.
If there's one thing you can say about the Astros bullpen, it's that they breathe confidence into the team when they need it the most. Perhaps no reliever exemplifies this better than Chris Devenski. When called upon to put out yet another fire, he delivered in familiar fashion; he did not allowed his inherited runner to score. After Odor's RBI single, Devo shut down both Jonathan Lucroy and Mitch Moreland to end the inning. He'd go on to pitch through the sixth inning and end his night giving up only 1 hit while striking out 2.
Will Harris pitched a slightly nervy seventh inning, but did well in his appearance, allowing 2 hits and 0 runs while striking out 2. Luke Gregerson replaced Harris in the eighth inning and did his part as well with the only base runner reaching by a walk while also striking out 1.
Of course, it wouldn't be an Astros game against the Rangers without another run scoring in the bottom of the ninth. Desmond led off the ninth inning with a triple off of Astros closer Ken Giles. He later scored on a Beltre groundout. Despite the run, however, Giles remain poised. He'd end the game sweetly by striking out Odor.
It's nice to pick up a win in Arlington to close out the series. With tonight's win, the Astros are now two games back of Boston, Detroit and Baltimore for a wild card spot. They begin a four game set against the Cleveland Indians tomorrow night at 6:10 p.m. In a battle of the Mike's, it's Mike Fiers taking on Mike Clevinger. Let's go 'Stros!