Rangers Win Second Straight against Astros

Rangers Astros
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rangers 7, Astros 2

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Apr 6) — The Texas Rangers emerged victorious in the second game of their series against the Houston Astros, 7–2, Saturday night. Multi-hit performances by Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Wyatt Langford, Evan Carter, and Leody Taveras were key in this win. The Rangers will go for the series win in the third game of this set on Sunday evening at Globe Life Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm Central. It will be a duel of righties. Ronel Blanco (1–0, 0.00) will toe the rubber for the Astros, and Dane Dunning (1–0, 4.26) will get the ball for the Rangers.

Heim Time

The Rangers scored first in the bottom of the second off Astros starter J.P. France. Carter led off the inning with a drive to deep right that the umpires originally ruled a home run. Upon further review requested by the Astros, it became a double. Two batters later, Jonah Heim brought in Carter with a single to right.

The top of the third got off to an exciting start when Jose Altuve singled to left. A few moments later, Rangers starter Jon Gray threw over to first to try and pick off Altuve. He was originally ruled safe, but the call was overturned when the Rangers challenged and Altuve’s speed was no longer an issue. A walk to Yordan Alvarez, a double to right by Kyle Tucker, and another walk to Alex Bregman brought Yainer Diaz to the plate. Diaz reached on an error by Seager, the shortstop. It allowed Alvarez and Tucker to score, giving the Astros a 2–1 lead.

The Rangers tied it 2–2 in the bottom of the fourth. Taveras drove in Jared Walsh with a double to left. Walsh led off the frame with a single to left. They took a 3–2 lead over the Astros in the bottom of the sixth. Josh H. Smith drew a walk, followed by a 3–6 force out grounded into by Taveras. Bryan Abreu entered from the bullpen to relieve France. After stealing second, Taveras advanced to third on a wild pitch by Abreu. On deck was Semien, who drove in Taveras with a single to left.

Padding the Lead

The Rangers tacked on some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth off Astros reliever Ryan Pressly. Singles by Taveras and Semien brought Seager to the plate. Taveras scored on a single by Seager. Langford plated Semien with a double to right to make it 5–2 Rangers. Seager crossed home on a wild pitch by Pressly, and Adolis Garcia scored Langford on a single to right to send the fans home with a 7–2 final score on their scorecards.

What Went Right for the Rangers

The Rangers earned their win on Saturday by keeping the ball on the ground. They took advantage of some miscues by the Astros, namely the wild pitches by Abreu and Pressly. As previously mentioned, they also had multi-hit performances by several of their starters. They were also able to keep Altuve relatively quiet for the second night in a row.

What Went Wrong for the Rangers

The only mishap for the Rangers was the fielding error by Seager in the third that accounted for the Astros’ entire scoring output.

Pitching Notes

Rangers right-hander Jon Gray exited with two outs in the fourth and the Rangers trailing, 2-1, in his second start of the season. His line on the evening was 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R-0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 84 pitches/49 strikes. A 35-pitch third inning derailed Gray, as six consecutive batters reached base (1B-BB-2B-BB-E6-BB). He nearly escaped the frame unscathed, but was charged with two unearned runs after the error by Seager conceded a pair of scores. Gray has compiled a 6.14 ERA and more walks (six) than strikeouts (five) through his first two starts of the 2024 campaign. The 10-year veteran has thrown 83 of 151 (54.9%) pitches for strikes this season, a strike percentage that sits well below his career average of 64.5% (18,282 pitches/11,794 strikes).

J.P. France made his second start of the season on Saturday. It was his first start since returning from the paternity list Friday. He took his first loss of the season. His line was 5 2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R-ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 88 pitches/58 strikes. He yielded single tallies in the second and fourth frames before exiting with two outs in the sixth and a bequeathed runner on first (Leody Taveras). Taveras then scored the decisive run of the ballgame when Semien delivered an RBI single off reliever Abreu. France fell one out shy of a quality start, a category in which he paced all AL rookies in 2023 with 13.

Postgame Quotes

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy flew solo in the interview room after the game on Saturday. He spent several minutes elaborating on the status of reliever Josh Sborz. With a one-run lead in the top of the eighth inning, Sborz was removed from the game. The right-hander induced two groundouts and then got two strikes on Jose Abreu before a lengthy meeting on the mound with Bochy, pitching coach Mike Maddux, and a team trainer. Sborz walked off with the trainer shortly thereafter. “He probably could have kept going, but you know, it’s not worth the risk,” Bochy said.

 

 

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