Astros Tie ALCS against Rangers

Rangers Astros
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Astros 10, Rangers 3

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Oct 19) — For the second night in a row, the Texas Rangers fell flat against the Houston Astros, losing Game Four of the ALCS, 10–3. Home runs by Adolis Garcia and Corey Seager provided some excitement for the capacity crowd of 42,060, but they ultimately didn’t get the job done against a very intimidating Astros team. With their win, the Astros have tied this ALCS at two games apiece. The Rangers will try to take a 3–2 series lead in Game Five on Friday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 4:07 pm Central at Globe Life Field. The Astros will send righty Justin Verlander (1–0, 1.42 ERA) to the mound in that game, while the Rangers will counter with Jordan Montgomery (2–0, 2.08 ERA).

Early Scoring

It didn’t take long for the Astros to get their offense rolling off Rangers lefty Andrew Heaney. Jose Altuve led off the top of the first with a double hit to shortstop Corey Seager. On deck was Mauricio Dubon, who singled to center, advancing Altuve to third. Moments later, a triple to center by Alex Bregman gave the Astros a 2–0 lead. Due up next was Yordan Alvarez, who proceeded to plate Bregman with a single to center.

The Rangers answered back in the bottom of the second thanks to a solo homer to center by Garcia off Astros starter Jose Urquidy. Mitch Garver followed that up with a walk. A double by Nathaniel Lowe advanced Garver to third, bringing up Josh Jung. Jung plated Garver with a sacrifice fly to left, cutting the Astros’ lead to 3–2. The Rangers tied it 3–3 in the bottom of the third thanks to a solo blast by Seager that landed in the Astros’ bullpen in left-center.

Astros Add On

The Astros regained the lead in the top of the fourth off Rangers reliever Dane Dunning. Martin Maldonado drew a walk to lead off the inning. Dubon followed with a single to right, advancing Maldonado to third. After Dunning struck out Bregman swinging, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy went to his bullpen. He brought in Cody Bradford to replace Dunning. The first batter Bradford faced was Alvarez, who brought in Maldonado with a sacrifice fly to center. On deck was Jose Abreu, who plated Altuve and Dubon with a three-run blast to left-center, making it 7–3 Astros.

They added two more in the top of the seventh off Rangers righty Chris Stratton. Stratton walked Abreu to begin the inning, then he struck out Kyle Tucker to bring up McCormick. McCormick stretched the lead to 9–3 on a two-run dinger to left-center.

The Astros extended the lead to 10-3 in the top of the eighth. Altuve crossed the plate on a single to right by Alvarez. Altuve had hit a fly ball to left that just fell short of the yellow line on top of the wall. It was originally ruled a home run, but the Rangers challenged the call. It was overturned, sending Altuve back to second with a very loud double. Three batters later, Alvarez drove in Altuve with a single to right.

Tough Night for Heaney

Heaney took a no-decision in this one. He wasn’t able to make it out of the top of the first. He gave up three earned runs on four hits, with one walk and no strikeouts. This was the shortest start of Heaney’s career, both in the regular season and the postseason. It was also the shortest start in Rangers postseason history. The previous was two-plus innings by Derek Holland in Game Four of the 2015 ALDS against the Toronto Blue Jays, and Colby Lewis in Game Three of the 2016 ALDS against the Blue Jays.

Dunning took the loss for the Rangers on Thursday. He allowed three earned runs on three hits across 2 2/3 innings in relief. Dunning entered the game in the first inning. All three runs he allowed came in the top of the fourth after each of the Astros’ first three batters reached base in that frame and ultimately scored. On the other side, Urquidy took a no-decision after pitching 2 1/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout. Two of the three runs allowed came on the solo homers by García and Seager. Ryne Stanek got the win after throwing two thirds of an inning.

Postgame Comments

Bochy was the first in the interview room. The main question he faced was on both Heaney and Dunning’s appearances. He said, “Andrew was a little bit off. He gave up the four hits and three runs. Due to the position that we’re in, I had to go get him and get Dane in there. Dane did a nice job for us. He worked hard and had a bit of bad luck himself, but he battled and that’s really all you can ask of these guys. I’ve been in these spots before. If I may be permitted a cliche, you can’t script these games. You play the hand you’re dealt.”

Just after Bochy exited, Astros manager Dusty Baker appeared in the interview room. Baker was asked why his team plays so well at Globe Life Field. He said, “I honestly have no idea. From what I can tell, these guys see the ball really well here, and that’s my best guess. I wish I could give you more, but it’s as much of a curiosity to me as it is to all of you. Let’s just hope we can continue to play well here.”

 

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