The Astros are one game into a four-game sweep of the Rangers that will get them within one game of the division lead. Or, at least, they avoided getting swept, taking the first game of the four-game series in Arlington 5-3
It began auspiciously. Jose Altuve led off the game with a homer to center to give the Stros an early one-run lead. However, the Rangers tied the game in the bottom of the first off Astros starter Ronel Blanco.
Blanco held the Rangers for the next two innings, but in the fourth, It looked like the Rangers might run away with the game with back-to-back homers by Josh Jung and Jonah Heim.
However, the Astros got a run back in the fifth on a Jose Altuve fielder’s choice, scoring Chas McCormick.
In the sixth inning, the Astros took the lead with three runs, the last scoring of the game. Jose Abreu and Yainer Diaz opened the inning with singles and scored on a Mauricio Dubon double. Dubon would score on a Jake Meyers sac fly.
The Astros bullpen of Phil Maton, Hector Neris, Bryan Abreu, and Ryan Pressly would hold the Rangers to no runs, and only one hit the rest of the way, but a nifty catch by McCormick in left field saved Pressly from trouble in the ninth.
Pressly got the save, and Blanco got the win. Rangers starter Jon Gray took the loss.
Nice to get a win from another rookie who has no business starting for a World Champion team. But it’s not a pretty line. Four walks, four hits, two homers, but somehow only three runs in five innings.
We’ll take it.
Hunter Brown takes on Nathan Eovaldi at 3:05 tomorrow.