Astros 4, Rangers 2
ARLINGTON, Texas, Aug 30 — The fans did not go home happy on Tuesday night, as the Texas Rangers lost a tight game to the Houston Astros by a final score of 4–2. The highlight of the evening for the Rangers was outfielder Bubba Thompson hitting his first career home run. That happened in the bottom of the third inning. The Rangers have the opportunity to split this short two-game series on Wednesday afternoon. Righty Cristian Javier (7–9, 2.97 ERA) will get the start for the Astros. Meanwhile, the Rangers will hand the ball to their ace lefty Martin Perez (10–4, 2.69 ERA) in the afternoon finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM Central.
Rangers Lose Tight Game to Astros
If there is one positive takeaway from Tuesday’s game, it is that the Rangers kept it close. The Astros took a 1–0 lead in the top of the first inning. A sacrifice fly by Astros third baseman Alex Bregman drove in second baseman Jose Altuve. Altuve scored again in the top of the third inning on a solo home run. It was his 22nd long ball of the season. Houston scored their third run of the evening on a single by Christian Vazquez. Alex Bregman was able to score on the base hit to right field.
The Astros would make this tight game a little less tight in the top of the seventh inning. With righty Jose Leclerc on the mound, Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena was driven in on a bases loaded walk to Yuli Gurriel. The Rangers fought back a little in the bottom of the third inning on a solo home run by left fielder Bubba Thompson. This was a special moment for Thompson and the Rangers, as this marked Thompson’s first home run of his major league career. The Rangers then followed that up with another solo home run. This one came courtesy of Ezequiel Duran in the bottom of the fifth inning. This made the score 3–2 in favor of the Astros.
Right-hander Dane Dunning took the mound for the Rangers on Tuesday. He suffered his seventh loss of the season. He is now 3–7 on the 2022 season. Dunning allowed just three runs, two of them earned, over five innings. This snapped an eight-start streak in which he had gone unbeaten. That streak dated back to the beginning of July.
He struck out five batters on Tuesday, establishing a new single-season career high for strikeouts at 117 (his previous high was 114 in 2021). Framber Valdez got the winning decision for the Astros in this tight game. Valdez pitched eight innings on Tuesday, and registered his 22nd consecutive quality start. He surrendered both of the Rangers’ runs, which were earned, on seven hits. Two of those hits were home runs. He didn’t allow any walks, and he struck out eight. Right-hander Hector Neris pitched a perfect ninth inning. He struck out two, and earned his third save of the season.
Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena went 3-for-5 with three singles after entering tonight with three hits over his previous seven games (3-for-22). He has seven games with 3+ hits this season, He is tied for third-most among Astros behind Altuve and Yordan Alvarez (ten), and he is tied with Gurriel (7). Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia recorded a pair of singles to extend his career-best 25-game on-base streak, matching the longest such streak by a Ranger in the last two seasons. Garcia has hits in 24 of his last 25 games (beginning August 3) at .314 (32-102), including career-best 23 game hitting streak from August 3-27 which was the longest by an American League batter this season. Over 38 games since the All-Star break, Garcia is hitting .307/.358/.487/.845 (46-150).
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Bubba Thompson, Cristian Javier, Martin Perez, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Christian Vazquez, Jose Leclerc, Jeremy Pena, Yuli Gurriel, Ezequiel Duran, Dane Dunning, Framber Valdez, Hector Neris, Yordan Alvarez, Adolis Garcia