Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
After the demoralizing loss on Friday night, the Astros were desperate to turn the page to a new game and put the issues of the past two games behind them and get back in the win column. Here is how Saturday's game played out:
Final Score (11 innings): Astros 7, Rangers 6.
Record: 58-35, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Josh James (4-0, 4.91 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Brett Martin (1-1, 5.34 ERA).
1) Another offensive back-and-forth early
The Astros tried to set the momentum in their favor early by making an offensive statement in the top of the first. George Springer started the game by working a walk, then Jose Altuve followed with a single. Alex Bregman moved both of them forward a base with a groundout, setting up a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley to make it a 1-0 Houston advantage. Yordan Alvarez followed that up with an RBI-double, extending the lead to 2-0 and starting this game right where he left off in his two-homer game the night prior.
The Rangers responded right away, though, getting back-to-back solo home runs off of Wade Miley in their first two at-bats to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the first inning. Brantley put the Astros back in front with his second RBI of the night in the top of the third, an RBI-single to make it 3-2.
Texas once again wasted no time getting more runs of their own, taking advantage of several errors in the bottom of the third. The miscues extended the inning, allowing them to score a run on a sacrifice fly along with a go-ahead run after the ball got away from Max Stassi at home and ended up in a camera well, giving the Rangers the lead at 4-3.
2) Bregman makes his presence felt
Alex Bregman, after missing Friday night's game as a result of the ground ball that struck his face on Thursday night, was back in the lineup on Saturday. He quickly shrugged off the defensive error he had earlier in the game, hammering a game-tying solo home run in the top of the fifth to even the score at 4-4.
If you ain't got no giddy up, then giddy out my way.#TakeItBack pic.twitter.com/xgoNhFdykf
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 14, 2019
After getting Mike Minor out of the game after five innings, Houston went to work on the Rangers' bullpen in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with one out. They'd get the go-ahead run on an error by Texas, taking a 5-4 lead, but would miss a chance to add more with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
3) Rangers tie it up to end Miley's night on sour note
Wade Miley didn't have as bad of a start going as it would appear going into the seventh inning. While he did start his night off in the worst way possible with the two solo home runs in the bottom of the first, the multitude of errors in the third made those runs he allowed unearned.
He did well after that rough third inning, getting through the next three innings with just one hit allowed. He took a high pitch count into the seventh with a 5-4 lead but would get stung with a one-out solo home run which allowed the Rangers to re-tie the game at 5-5. He would get one more out before A.J. Hinch would make the call to the bullpen. Miley's final line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 HR.
Will Harris would be first out of Houston's bullpen, and he finished off the seventh with a strikeout.
4) Astros pull ahead in extras
Houston had a chance to go back in front in the top of the eighth, getting a two-out triple from Jake Marisnick. They'd watch that opportunity slip away, though, but Ryan Pressly would throw a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to set up another chance in the ninth.
The Astros had the heart of their order up in the top of the ninth, but it would take a two-out single by Michael Brantley to get a baserunner aboard. They would pinch-run Myles Straw for Brantley, but he would get picked off at first to end the inning.
Josh James took over on the mound on the bottom of the ninth looking to send the game to extra innings. He would do so, getting a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. The Astros were aggressive in the top of the tenth, but it would not pan out for them, and instead resulted in a five-pitch inning for Texas who would get another chance to walk it off. James was able to extend the game one inning further, though, with another scoreless inning including two more strikeouts.
In the top of the eleventh, George Springer worked a walk after two quick outs before him. Jose Altuve was next and powered a ball into left-center field deep enough to score Springer from first, putting Houston ahead 6-5 with an RBI-double. Altuve was able to advance to third during the play, which after an intentional walk to Alex Bregman set up an RBI-single by Myles Straw to extend the lead to 7-5.
George: fast, Altuve: clutch, Myles: insurance.#TakeItBack pic.twitter.com/MNxm8duLpT
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 14, 2019
Roberto Osuna came in to close things out in the bottom of the eleventh and would do so but not before struggling to get the final out. The Rangers would get a two-out RBI-single to trim the lead to one but would come no closer as Osuna would finish off the win.
Up Next: The Astros and Rangers will wrap up this four-game set tomorrow with the first pitch of the finale scheduled for 2:05 PM. Houston will send their ace, Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98 ERA), to the mound to face Ariel Jurado (5-4, 4.23 ERA) for Texas.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.
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