The Prince of Pop powers the Rangers over the Astros
The Silver-Boot Series between the Rangers and Astros gets serious as both teams are vying for the AL west title. The Rangers entered this crucial four game set just 1.5 games behind Houston in the standings, and drew first blood tonight. Keone Kela got the win to improve to 7-5 this season while Will Harris took the loss to drop to 5-4.
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The Astros got the scoring started with Jose Altuve hitting a solo home run off of Cole Hamels. Hamels pitched 7 innings allowing 3 runs but 2 of those runs could have been prevented if Mitch Moreland could have delivered a perfect strike to home plate on a fielder’s choice in the fifth and if he could have caught a bullet off the bat of Colby Rasmus in the seventh. Hamels only had two innings where he worked perfect innings but he seemed to be in control throughout the game.
Sep 14, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Now to our offense. After being shut out twice verses Seattle, the series against Oakland really helped get some momentum into our bats. It carried over into this game Rougned Odor sent a double to deep center field to tie the game up at one in the bottom of the second. After another round of see saw in scoring, Mitch Moreland blasted his 20th homerun of the season to bring in two and put the Rangers up by one. The Astros would tie it up in the seventh which left Hamels without a decision in tonight’s game. Then Prince Fielder hit a two run bomb in the bottom of the eighth and that was all the Rangers would need to bring home the victory.The Rangers made the AL West even more interesting with their 5-3 win and are now just a half game behind Houston.
Other notes: Mike Napoli made only his second career start in Left Field tonight allowing the Rangers to put major power potential in the 3,4,5, and 6 spots in the lineup. Hamels had a balk tonight which allowed an eventual runner to cross the plate. Derek Holland will face Colin McHugh tomorrow night for the second game of four.