You hate to win this way. But it’s better than losing.
The Astros continued their hitting slump from last night but their opponent, the Texas Rangers, managed to hand the Stros the game anyway.
Oh, the futility.
The Astros did not score after the second inning last night and did not score runs tonight until the eighth inning, and only then with the generous help of the Rangers’ defense
Down 3-0 thanks to a Marcus Semien RBI single in the third inning and a Nathaniel Lowe two-run homer in the fourth, the Astros finally looked like they might put something together in the eighth inning off reliever John King.
Jose Altuve led off the inning with a single, and hustled his way to third on Michael Brantley’s following single to right.
And here’s where it broke down for the Rangers. Alex Bregman hit a certified double-play ball to shortstop Kyle Seager, who made the strange decision to gun down Altuve heading home. But the Rangers muffed the run down, allowing Altuve to score, and putting Brantley and Bregman on third and second respectively.
Bregman scored on a Yordan Alvarez fielder’s choice to first, and then Kyle Tucker broke a two-game Astros home run drought with a line drive to the bullpen in right field, putting the Astros up 4-3.
WILL THE REAL KING PLEASE STAND UP. pic.twitter.com/wPATfJdsoA— Houston Astros (@astros) June 15, 2022
The Astros held the lead thanks to some sharp fielding, especially by Aledmys Diaz. In the sixth inning, Diaz made an unbelievable play on a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop and then got just enough on his three-hop throw to first to retire Sam Huff for out three of the inning.
In the bottom of the eight, after Astros reliever Rafael Montero walked the first batter, Diaz initiated a 5-6-3 double play despite making a slight bobble of the ground ball.
In the ninth, after Ryan Pressly allowed the lead-off batter to single, Diaz finished the double play, employing perfect footwork and a rifle shot to first to just barely beat Huff at first.
Pressly allowed another single in the inning but ended the game with an Ezequiel Duran popup.
It was something of a bounce-back start for Jose Urquidy, who managed a quality start and could have recorded a much better line but for the bad home run pitch to Lowe. He completed six innings, allowing five hits and no walks with four Ks.
The Astros made Dane Dunning look like Don Drysdale, getting only two hits and no runs off the Rangers starter. For the game, the Astros offense only managed five hits and four walks, but in the case of this game, it was better to be lucky than good.
The Astros and Rangers face off in the rubber match tomorrow at 1:05 CT. Luis Garcia goes for the Stros.