Rangers Lose Heartbreaker to Astros

Rangers Astros
(Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

Astros 12, Rangers 11

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Jul 3) — The Texas Rangers dropped their series finale to the Houston Astros, 12–11, Monday afternoon. They put forth a very nice effort to come back. This included a big three-run homer by Travis Jankowski. This series may not have gone the Rangers’ way, but that is the nice thing about the game of baseball. No matter how badly you play one day, you always have the opportunity to redeem yourself. With that in mind, the Rangers will be going on a six-game road trip. They’ll play three at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox, followed by three in our Nation’s Capital against the Washington Nationals. The Red Sox series starts on Tuesday afternoon at 12:35 pm Central. The Rangers will send Dane Dunning (7–1, 2.69 ERA) to the mound in the opener, while the Red Sox have yet to announce their starting pitcher for that game.

Grand Slam for Tucker

The Astros came out swinging on Monday. Chas McCormick led off the top of the second with a solo home run to center. Yainer Diaz made it back-to-back homers for the Astros with a blast to right-center to give the Astros an early 2–0 lead over the Rangers. A single by Corey Julks, a walk to Martin Maldonado, and a base hit by Mauricio Dubon cued up a very big at-bat for Kyle Tucker. Once he got to the plate, Tucker proceeded to deposit one over the wall in right-center for a grand slam. It gave the Astros a 6–0 lead. The Rangers chipped away in the bottom of the third. A two-run shot to right-center by Leody Taveras put the Rangers within grand slam distance.

The Astros added a run in the top of the fourth on a single to right that plated Jose Altuve. On deck was Jose Abreu, who gave the Astros a 10–2 lead on a three-run blast to left-center. Tucker and Alex Bregman were the men on base at the time. The Rangers chipped away some more in the bottom of the fourth. A three-run homer by Jankowski cut the lead to 10–5. Adolis Garcia played small ball in the bottom of the fifth when he drove in Corey Seager with a base hit to center.

Garcia Ties it Up

Later in the inning, Jankowski delivered again with a two-run single that plated Garcia and Jonah Heim. This was interesting as it was ruled a single, and an error, on a pop up to short that was deflected by Julks, who came in to attempt a catch. Moments later, a groundout by Taveras scored Heim to make it a one-run contest. One of the biggest moments of the game came in the bottom of the seventh when Garcia tied the game at 10 with his 21st home run of the year. The player vote to this year’s All-Star Game in Seattle must have given him an extra jolt.

The Rangers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Taveras scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Seager. That lead was short-lived, however, as the Astros tied it in the top of the ninth. Tucker crossed the dish on a double hit sharply to center by Jose Abreu. That brought up McCormick, who drove in the go-ahead run, represented by Abreu, on a double to left. The Rangers had some hard luck in this series, and it really showed on Monday.

Early Shower for Perez

Rangers lefty Martin Perez surrendered six runs, all earned, and a season high-tying three home runs. He only threw an inning and a third, in which he walked two. Perez avoided taking the loss after García’s game-tying solo homer in the seventh removed him from the decision. This marked the first time Pérez has failed to complete at least two innings in a start since August 5, 2021 against the Detroit Tigers as a member of the Red Sox. In that start, he threw an inning and a third and surrendered three earned runs. Glenn Otto came on in relief of Perez and gave up the Astros’ next four runs, all earned. Their last two runs were given up by Will Smith in the top of the ninth. Smith took the loss in this one, bringing his record to 1–3 with an ERA of 3.19.

Astros starter Cristian Javier did not factor into the decision for the ninth time this season. His line on the afternoon was 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 8 R-ER, 4 K, 2 HR, 88 pitches/58 strikes. Javier has given up two home runs in consecutive outings. This is following a four-start stretch where he didn’t allow a home run. Monday’s start marks the third time this season that Javier has not allowed a walk, although his 25 walks allowed are still second-most on the Astros. The Rangers’ last three runs were given up by Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Bryan Abreu. Abreu got the win for the Astros for his effort in the eighth inning. Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless ninth, earning his 18th save of the year.

Postgame Comments

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy met with reporters after the game. On the subject of his team coming back, he said, “These guys battled so hard today. They showed a great fight. When you look at it, we were down eight runs. It takes big fight to come back from that. So, I’m very proud of what they did, even though it didn’t go our way. That’s how this game goes sometimes, as does life. You just have to wake up the next day, and do it again. This was a tough loss today. It was a big series on the schedule, but we’re going to be fine. There’s a lot of baseball left.”


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