Houston gets the win
Astros overpower Rangers in series opener
After starting their second half 3-3 with a series loss against the White Sox and win over the Indians, the Astros welcomed in the Rangers to try and improve their record and stay on pace in front of the A's in the AL West. Thanks to two big innings in Friday's opener, they would grab a win to start this three-game installment of the Silver Boot Series.
Final Score: Astros 7, Rangers 3
Astros' Record: 59-39, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-3)
Losing Pitcher: Kolby Allard (2-8)
Houston breaks it open early
The force is with Kyle Tucker ✨#ForTheHpic.twitter.com/qJjk7rp61e
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 24, 2021
After two scoreless innings on both sides, the Astros broke the seal, and the game open, in the third and the fourth innings. In the bottom of the third, Houston loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk, setting up an RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI ground ball by Carlos Correa, then three-run homer by Kyle Tucker, jumping out to a 5-0 lead. They tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on second and third before an RBI groundout by Michael Brantley and a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel, extending the lead to 7-0.
Odorizzi runs into trouble in the fifth
That gave Jake Odorizzi a clear path to a win. Yet, after four scoreless innings, he would struggle in the fifth, getting two strikeouts to start the frame but then allowed three runs on three hits and a walk, making it 7-3 and prompting Dusty Baker to bring in Brandon Bielak to finish the inning. Odorizzi's final line: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 86 P.
Astros take the opener
After recording the last out of the fifth for Odorizzi, Bielak retired seven of the eight batters he faced, getting through the seventh inning out of the bullpen for Houston and maintaining the four-run lead. Blake Taylor was the next reliever out, and he erased a two-out walk and a single to complete a scoreless top of the eighth. Cristian Javier came in to close things out in the top of the ninth, tossing a 1-2-3 frame to finish off the victory.
Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will get started at 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Framber Valdez (5-2, 3.26 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (6-2, 2.86 ERA) is slated to go for the Rangers.