The Texas Rangers got their first home win of the season on Saturday night, beating the Houston Astros by a final score of 6-2 and evening the three-game series.
Just one day removed from a demoralizing Home Opener in which the Rangers lost starting pitcher Derek Holland to the 60-day DL and outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Rua to minor injuries, Texas bounced back.
“What happened yesterday with Derek, and Choo, and Ryan, we definitely didn’t expect it to happen all in one day,” Rangers Third Baseman Adrian Beltre said during a post-game interview with Emily Jones of FOX Sports Southwest. “We have to live with the injuries and come out here every day and do our job. We hope they can come back soon but until then it’s our job.”
Starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo, who had a horrendous start on opening day in Oakland, had his first quality outing of the year, going 5 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs on eight hits to go along with a walk and seven strikeouts.
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“He struggled at times, but he persevered,” Beltre said. “When he got into jams, he got out of them. That’s the biggest thing.”
The Rangers got things started quickly in the bottom half of the first when Beltre cranked a ball down the right field line. After taking an awkward bounce off the wall and caroming past Astro’s right fielder George Springer, Beltre pulled into third but wasn’t done there. A poor relay throw and a panicked Houston shortstop actually allowed Beltre to score, putting the Rangers up 1-0.
After cruising through the first two frames, Gallardo would run into trouble in the third, giving up a solo home run to Marwin Gonzales that cut the Rangers lead in half at 2-1. Gallardo would then allow a single and a walk to load the bases, but would strike out Chris Carter to retire the side and get out of the jam.
The next three innings would be scoreless affairs, with neither team able to push across a run. However, things got interesting in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and an already 2-for-2 Mitch Moreland on deck, Astro’s skipper A.J. Hinch would make the call to the bullpen, effectively ending Roberto Hernandez‘ night.
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Moreland would then come to the plate in a bases loaded scenario and, after working the count full, hit what looked to be a harmless grounder right back to the pitcher. Fortunately for the Rangers, Houston first baseman Chris Carter dropped the ball and the inning continued. Elvis Andrus would add two more runs on an RBI single to left to break the game open at 5-1.
Texas and Houston would exchange runs in the final three innings before Jeff Banister brought in closer Neftali Feliz to shut the door in the ninth, getting the Rangers back into the ever important win-column.
Four of the Rangers’ six runs were unearned.
The Rangers, who have led MLB in errors this season and are currently last in the majors with a .960 fielding percentage, played error-free baseball.
Houston’s Chris Carter had an awful game, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He also committed a timely error dropping the ball at first base that ultimately cost the Astros three runs.
The Rangers and Astros will play the rubber match of the three-game series tomorrow. Colby Lewis will take the bump for Texas while Houston will counter with ace Dallas Keuchel. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. at Globe Life Park in Arlington.