As the race to the playoffs gets closer to the finish line with every passing day, the Texas Rangers separated themselves a little more from the Houston Astros in the AL west with a 6-2 win in the first of a three game set with their in state rivals. Ross Ohlendorf picked up the win for Texas to improve to 3-0 on the sin while Scott Kazmir took the loss to drop to 7-11.
Neither starter lasted long in this contest as Kazmir lasted just 3.2 innings en route to giving up 10 hits and six runs, all earned. Yovani Gallardo took the hill for Texas, and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing eight hits and two runs, on a two run blast by Luis Valbuena. However, those were the only runs the Astros would manufacture all game.
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Texas got on the board early as Prince Fielder doubled to deep center to bring Adrian Beltre in and make it 1-0 in the first. In the second Elvis Andrus bunted for a single, which brought Mitch Moreland in to score on a throwing error by Kazmir, one of three errors by the Astros in the game. Shin-Soo Choo hit a single to score Chris Giminez to make it 3-0 after the second inning. In the fourth, Choo took full advantage of his second chance at the plate as he launched a two run homer to score Delino DeShields and make it 5-0 Rangers. Fielder singled again to bring Beltre in again and make it 6-0 Texas. Valbuena’s homer got Houston on the board in the bottom of the fourth but it was far from enough as the Rangers rolled to victory.
There was a scary moment in the top of the seventh. On a routine pop up Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve both run for the ball and as Correa was trying to make the play in shallow center he hit Altuve in the jaw with his elbow. Altuve initially had caught the ball, but as he went to the ground he could not maintain control of the ball, and it rolled out of his glove. Altuve left the game but Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Altuve did not have a concussion and is hopeful Altuve can play tomorrow.
Texas is now 4.5 games ahead of Houston in the division, and now the Angels are just one game behind the Astros, pending the result of their Friday night game against the Mariners. Should they win, they would be just a half game back. Tomorrow Derek Holland takes the hill for Texas against Houston’s Collin McHugh with first pitch at 12:05 PM CT.