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Hunter Brown stellar again to lift Astros and even series vs Rangers

The 24-year-old rookie delivered another seven strong innings, this time to beat the Rangers.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter Brown is doing everything he can to carry the Astros’ pitching. On Saturday night and Jackie Robinson’s Day, the 24-year-old rookie had a brilliant performance against the Rangers in a Houston victory with an 8-2 score. Offensively, the ‘Stros counted on Yordan Álvarez and Jeremy Peña.

On his way to his second win of the year, Brown worked for seven innings of five hits and two unearned runs, with one walk and five strikeouts. Brown produced 11 swings and misses while throwing 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes. He did not allow earned runs on April 9 against the Twins, either.

Out of the final 10 men Brown faced, the young righty retired nine of them – the one he couldn’t retire drew a walk. He averaged 95.8 miles per hour with his fastball, though touched 98.2 MPH as maximum velocity.

Offensively, Yordan was productive again as he hit a two-run, game-tying double in the third inning and then brought home a run with a bases-loaded walk. Álvarez now leads the MLB in runs batted in with 20, one ahead of Ryan Mountcastle (19).

Peña also contributed to the Astros’ cause. He went 2-for-4 with a two-run double of his own to produce the Astros’ two final runs in a five-run rally in the seventh inning.

Mauricio Dubón kept his hot streak alive and added two singles across five at-bats. He’s now hitting for a .356 batting average and is leading the Astros in hits along with José Abreu and Kyle Tucker, all of them with 16.

When Brown’s job was done, Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero took care of business. Both threw a scoreless inning to seal the Astros’ seventh win of the young campaign (7-8).

As part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, you can enjoy the third game of this series at 6:10 pm CT. It’s gonna be Framber Valdez facing also-lefty Andrew Heaney.