Rangers Take One-Sided Series Opener from Astros

Rangers Astros
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rangers 10, Astros 2

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Apr 5) — The Texas Rangers started their second homestand in a poised and dominant fashion, as they beat the Houston Astros, 10–2, on Friday evening. Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia accounted for most of the offense as they both clubbed three-run dingers in the raucous rout. The Rangers hope to keep the upper hand against their division rivals in the second game of this four-game set. That game is scheduled for Saturday at 6:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander J.P. France (0–0, 4.76) will make his second start of the year for the Astros, and right-hander Jon Gray (0–0, 12.27) will get the ball for the Rangers.

Semien and Garcia Feast

The Rangers got their scoring started in the bottom of the second off Astros starter Hunter Brown. Singles by Josh H. Smith and Semien brought Corey Seager to the dish. Seager scored Smith on a double to left. Wyatt Langford plated Semien on an infield single to second. On deck was Garcia, who sent the crowd into another frenzy with a three-run bomb to right-center. It was his fourth of the year. The Rangers made it 6–0 in the bottom of the fourth off Astros reliever Brandon Bielak. Jared Walsh scored on a double to right by Smith. Walsh singled to right earlier in the inning. Garcia added another run in the bottom of the fifth on a single to left that brought Semien home. Semien drew a walk three batters prior.

The home nine piled on in the bottom of the sixth. Jonah Heim doubled to right to lead off the frame. A walk to Smith followed. On deck was Semien, who had already reached safely four times on the evening. With the crowd on their feet, Semien blasted his first home run of the year deep to left-center to stretch the Rangers’ touchdown to a commanding 10–0 lead.

The Astros broke into the run column in the top of the eighth inning. Rangers lefty Cody Bradford had gone the distance to this point. After giving up a single to Jeremy Peña, manager Bruce Bochy brought the hook to the mound and went with righty Yerry Rodriguez to relieve Bradford. On the first pitch he threw, Rodriguez surrendered a two-run home run to right-center to Jake Meyers.

What Went Right for the Rangers

The Rangers had nearly everything go right for them in front of the crowd of 34,583 on an extremely beautiful night. As previously mentioned, Semien and Garcia each had big nights under an open roof. Semien reached safely five times and Garcia flexed his muscles again. Their pitching was very good as well, giving the majority of their bullpen the night off.

What Went Wrong for the Rangers

The only thing that sent a wave of concern throughout Globe Life Field was when Meyers hit his two-run home run in the eighth.

Pitching Notes

Bradford earned the win on Friday. He tossed a career-high 7 2/3 innings in his second outing of the season and tenth career start. His line on the evening was  7 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R-ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 97 pitches/72 strikes. The lone hits he allowed were singles to the first and last batters he faced, Altuve in the first and Peña in the eighth. He exited with two outs in the eighth inning following Peña’s single. Bradford was charged with his first run after Rodríguez surrendered the Meyers homer.

At 26 years, 43 days old, Bradford became the youngest Rangers pitcher to post 7.0+ IP, 2 or fewer hits, and no walks in a start. He’s the youngest since Martín Pérez (24-120) did it on 8/2/15 against the San Francisco Giants (8 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R-ER, 0 BB, 6 K). The Aledo, Texas native is now 2–0, 2.13 ERA with 10 strikeouts/one walk, and a .116 opp. BA (5-for-43) through his first two starts in 2024.

Brown’s Outing

Astros starter Hunter Brown made his second start of 2024 and took the loss after allowing five runs, all earned, on eight hits in three innings. It signaled his most hits allowed in an outing since 8/20/23 against the Seattle Mariners (also 8 H). Friday marked his fourth career start/appearance against the Rangers. He falls to 2–2, 3.60 ERA, including a 10.29 ERA in his two starts at Globe Life Field. The Astros are winless in Brown’s last four starts and 2–8 since 8/10/23 when Brown takes the hill as a starter. The Rangers’ other five runs were surrendered by the right-handed Bielak.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Bochy gave his thoughts on Cody Bradford’s effort. “He was was nothing short of impressive. All four of his pitches were working well for him. He had great command as well. He had a good mix going, and he and Jonah (Heim) were working well together. His curveball was really good also. This is a pitcher with a lot of confidence right now. It was just a tremendous outing for him. He got us to the eighth inning, and he’s throwing the ball well right now.” Bochy was also asked about the offensive display. “Marcus (Semien) set the tone for us. He was on base five times with three hits. Everybody in the lineup had a hit, and that’s the sort of thing you need to bottle up for as long as you can.”

Bradford also took the hot seat after the game. “It’s good to set the tone against the Astros, and they kind of worked our butts here last year,” Bradford said. “It means a lot. I grew up in the area and there’s a lot of emotions from my hometown and and my family. We want to beat the Astros just as much as everybody else does. It’s just really special, and I feel really honored to give the team so many innings tonight.”


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