The Texas Rangers (78-67) absolutely embarrassed the Houston Astros (77-69) tonight, slaughtering the Astros by a score of 14-3. Many were wondering how the Rangers would respond, going from the hunter to the hunted, and they responded mighty well. Martin Perez (3-5, 4.96 ERA) pitched brilliantly and got the win for the Rangers, while Dallas Keuchel (17-8, 2.56 ERA) was humiliated and took the loss.
Martin Perez came into this game struggling, getting absolutely roughed up in his last couple of outings. I, for one, was incredibly concerned with how he would show up now that the bright lights were on him, but boy did he respond well. Perez pitched seven masterful innings, allowing just one run on nine hits. Perez was in control all night, needing just 91 pitches to get through seven innings of work. He struck out three Astros hitters tonight as well, and walked one in the process.
This win has to be absolutely huge for Perez and his confidence, not only because of how well he pitched, but because he clearly outplayed the Astros ace. The Rangers absolutely needed him to turn in a dandy, and that is exactly what he did tonight.
Dallas Keuchel on the other hand, he had a night to forget for the Astros. Keuchel was tagged all night long, with the Rangers jumping all over him in the first inning. Keuchel saw his season ERA balloon from a 2.22 to a 2.56, and he didn’t have his stuff from the first pitch. His final state line reads, 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing eleven hits and nine earned runs, while striking out four. Keuchel was making mistake after mistake, and with a hot team like the Rangers, you won’t be able to get away with that.
If you are in the DFW area and heard fireworks all night long, it could very well be because of the Rangers and their offense. This offense was absolutely clicking, and they got it going from the first pitch. Prince Fielder opened the scoring for the Rangers in the first inning, driving a ball through the right side and scoring Delino DeShields from third. Mike Napoli followed that by making it feel like 2012 again, driving a three-run home run into centerfield and sending the Rangers faithful into an absolute frenzy of “Nap-o-li” chants. But the home run party wasn’t quite over yet, as Rougned Odor drove one into the right field seats to make it 6-0 Rangers after one.
The Rangers offense wasn’t content with a strong first inning though, and they kept piling it on. Fielder had another monster game, this time hitting two dingers in the third and sixth innings. Bobby Wilson concluded the home run party for the Rangers in the seventh, when he got into one to make it 14-1. The Rangers are beating the Astros at their own game, blasting an impressive five home runs tonight.
For the Astros, there isn’t too much offense to talk about tonight. The Astros finally got to Perez in the sixth inning, when Chris Carter singled to center and scored Jose Altuve. In the eighth inning, the offensive leader for the Astros tonight, Evan Gattis, hit a home run to make it 14-3. It didn’t do too much in terms of the outcome of the game, but it certainly capped off a strong night for the big fella, as he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
The loss has to be absolutely demoralizing for the Astros, as it assures them that they will be leaving Arlington in second place. Not only that, but they also had their ace on the mound against the Rangers number four, and they still couldn’t pull it out. The Astros are an incredibly young ball club, and it looks like the glass slipper could slowly be slipping off of the Astros.
The Rangers will attempt to go for the four game sweep tomorrow, as they send veteran RHP Colby Lewis (15-8, 4.45 ERA) to the bump. Lewis was absolutely sensational in his complete game shutout last outing against the A’s, and the Rangers faithful are hoping that he can turn in another gem tomorrow. The Astros will turn to RHP Lance McCullers (5-5, 3.10 ERA) in hopes that he can salvage a game of this four game set. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from Globe Life Park in Arlington, and you can watch the Rangers game live locally on Fox Sports Southwest, or watch on any connected device with an Mlb.tv subscription.
Remember to pack the park tomorrow, wear red, and cheer on the boys! Go Rangers, sweep the Astros!
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