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Astros Unload on Rangers. Take Game One and Season Tiebreaker in Arlington, 13-6

16 hits and five homers, two each by Altuve and Dubon, bury Mall Cops

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers
Astros catcher Yainer Diaz (21) hits a three-run home run during the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

When the Astros went down 3-0 by the third inning, I was ready to write the Astros season post-mortem.

When will I ever learn.

The Astros managed to come back to tie the score, finally scoring in the fifth. It was a close run thing. Yainer Diaz was originally called out at first on an attempted double play that was later overturned. The next batter flied out, which would have made it a 1-2-3 inning.

Instead, Altuve got a swinging bunt single, Jeremy Pena singled home Diaz, and after a Yordan Alvarez walk, Bregman singled home Altuve and Pena.

However, The Rangers took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a Cory Seager homer, his second of the game. Seager knocked in three of the Rangers’ four runs up to that point.

The Rangers extended their lead to 6-4 in the sixth inning before the Astros bats, so quiet at home against the Yankees, finally unloaded for two runs in the sixth and six runs in the seventh.

Mauricio Dubon’s eighth homer and Altuve’s 12th accounted for the two runs in the sixth.

In the seventh it started with a walk to Yordan, followed by Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker singles to load the bases. A walk to Abreu scored one run, and a fielding error by erstwhile Rangers here Seager plated two more Astros runs. The killer blow came on a Yainer Diaz homer, his 21st of the year.

The inning could have been worse but Altuve got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, followed by a Pena single.

The Astros added two more runs in the ninth on Dubon and Altuve homers, for each their second of the game.

The Rangers added one run in the ninth off Ryne Stanek, who left the game with an injury.

Astros starter J.P. France gave the team yet another shaky start. There really is not a truly reliable Astros starter at this point of the season going into the playoff run.

France managed to last five innings, allowing five runs on six hits, three walks, with five K’s. The Astros bullpen was effective. Rafael Montero, Bryan Abreu, and Hector Neris held the Rangers until the ninth when Stanek allowed two hits and a run before leaving with no outs. Phil Maton closed in out for the W and the tiebreaker advantage against the Rangers

Framber Valdez takes on the Cops tomorrow, 7:05.

Box score HERE.