Having lost five of their last six games, and with a pitching staff that appears on the verge of unraveling before the season even hits month two, Jake Odorizzi gave the Astros an unexpected lift with a stellar start that went deep into the game.
Going into the game with a season ERA of 9.00, Odorizzi allowed only one run in six innings pitched, one of his longest starts since joining the Astros.
Yordan Alvarez got the scoring started in the second inning when he smashed a double off starter Taylor Hearn over the head of the slightly confused center fielder Adolis Garcia. He later scored on a Jeremy Pena single.
Get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in. pic.twitter.com/2ihWiIzGQy— Houston Astros (@astros) April 27, 2022
But Garcia atoned for his fielding faux pas with a monster solo home run off Odorizzi. It was the only hit and run allowed by Odorizzi along with one walk and four strikeouts.
This outing dropped Odorizzi’s ERA three points to 6.00. With a number of other pitchers performing below expectations or injured, a return to form of Odorizzi would be a welcome development.
The Astros put up a rare crooked number in the fourth inning starting with consecutive Alex Bregman and Alvarez singles sending Bregman to third and no outs. Yuli Gurriel got the RBI on a fielder's choice that got Alvarez at second but the relay to first was barely too late to get Gurriel as well.
Luckily for Kyle Tucker, whose subsequent 429-foot homer to right provided the Astros two more runs and two more RBI.
You come at the King, you best not miss. pic.twitter.com/nLH1bvIg6O— Houston Astros (@astros) April 27, 2022
The Astros added another run in the sixth with a little help from another Rangers’ fielding faux pas. Former Astros prospect Albert Abreu walked his first two Astros and with Alex Bregman on third with one out, Tucker hit a hard grounder to first. Nathaniel Lowe’s throw home was wide allowing Bregman to score and giving Tucker his third RBI of the game.
In the seventh inning, Blake Taylor allowed two hits before getting two outs and giving the ball over to Rafael Montero. Montero walked his first batter to load the bases but struck out Ad. Garcia to end the Rangers’ threat.
Montero took care of the Rangers in the eighth and Hector Neris closed out the Rangers with ease in the ninth to tie the series in Arlington 1 - 1.
Montero got a little help from his friends.
The Astros hitting woes don’t appear to be over, as their five runs were accomplished with only six hits. But the pitching only allowed three hits tonight against a hot Rangers lineup and if any game looked like advantage Rangers going into the series it was this Odorizzi start.
It’s another 7:05 start tomorrow with Cristian Javier getting his first start of the year.