Houston wins the opener

Astros grab comeback win over Rangers in Arlington

The Astros came alive for a five-run inning which put them over the Rangers on Friday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After taking two of three from the Royals earlier in the week and benefiting from some losses by the A's to extend their division lead, the Astros entered Globe Life Field on Friday looking to continue to set themselves apart on top of the AL West. Despite going down four runs in the game, they would grab the comeback win to start the series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Rangers 4

Astros' Record: 76-52, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Phil Maton (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brett Martin (3-4)

Odorizzi gives up two over five innings

After three scoreless innings, Jake Odorizzi allowed the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth after a leadoff double scored later in the inning on an RBI single, putting the Rangers up 1-0. They doubled their lead in the next inning, getting a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to make it 2-0. Odorizzi would finish that frame, but Houston turned to their bullpen in the sixth, making his final line 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Rangers extend their lead, but Houston battles back

Phil Maton was the first reliever out for the Astros, but he did not fare well in the bottom of the sixth, allowing the Rangers to push their lead to 4-0 on back-to-back two-out RBI doubles. Houston battled back in the top of the seventh, getting five runs on four hits, including a two-RBI double by Jake Meyers, a two-RBI single by Michael Brantley, and an RBI groundout by Yuli Gurriel, giving Houston their first lead of the night at 5-4.

Astros take the opener on the comeback win

Yimi Garcia was the next reliever out of the bullpen for Houston, and he worked around a one-out single for a scoreless inning. After a scoreless top of the eighth, Ryne Stanek took over on the mound, and he, too, erased a one-out single to maintain the one-run lead. That set up the save opportunity for Ryan Pressly, and despite allowing two singles, he would notch his 20th of the season with some solid defense behind him, finishing the win for the Astros and starting the series with a win.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will get started at 6:05 PM Central on Saturday. The pitching matchup is expected to be Framber Valdez (8-4, 2.94 ERA) for the Astros and Kolby Allard (3-10, 4.86 ERA) for the Rangers.

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The NASCAR Cup Series heads for Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers 400. MIS is one of the fastest racetracks in the country, as cars are capable of reaching speeds of 201-205 miles per hour. Hopefully, we will see a safe race considering the speeds we see here. We will more than likely see a race that is vastly different from what we saw last here when the drivers utilized the draft to pass around this track. This year, the cars are less aero-dependent and will be much more spread out. The drivers will need to continue to manage their tires as they have been doing all year.

Last weekend at Indy, Tyler Reddick captured his second victory of 2022 in dramatic fashion. The race came down to numerous restarts where drivers would drive way too deep into the first corner and run into each other each time. This was the central theme of the race, as restarts pretty much decided everything. We saw drivers like AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney get swept up in wrecks in turn one. On the final restart, Ross Chastain decided he didn’t want to be a part of these shenanigans and took the access road that skipped turn one. This moved catapulted him to the lead with Tyler Reddick as the two battled for the lead in a two-lap shootout. When the dust settled, Reddick came away victorious and Ross Chastain was black flagged for shortcutting.

The finish of this race sparked a serious debate among drivers and fans alike about ditching the Indianapolis road course and returning to the oval in 2023. Personally, this doesn’t make any sense to me. While yes, turn one is difficult to maneuver, it’s mainly because drivers all decide to send it as deep as they can, not because of the racetrack configuration. It’s also a bit disingenuous as for years, drivers and fans have been saying they don’t want to see the oval and that the track is designed for IndyCar. If I had to choose, I would say NASCAR just stop going to Indy and go to the short track down the road at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. We have seen so many great races there, and I think the Cup Series would be perfect for that track. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how NASCAR responds to this and what they decide to do for next season.

Kurt Busch will be out for the third consecutive week as he continues to recover from a concussion. This has been tough to hear about, and now there are legitimate concerns that he will not return to racing. There is a good chance however that 23XII could be saving him for the playoffs which are coming up.

For now, Ty Gibbs will continue to fill in for Busch. In his two starts the young phenom has performed extremely well, finishing 16th at Pocono and 17th at Indy. It’s clear that this young man can drive these cars, the only problem is finding a place for him to run next season.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Martin Truex Jr. By any other standard, the season that Truex is having has been great. Constantly up front, leading laps and just overall contending. Unfortunately for him, 2022 hasn’t been just any average season. With 14 winners and Truex not being one of them, he is on the playoff bubble even though he is fourth in points. While his playoff future maybe uncertain right now, there are some good racetracks he is going to where can easily get that first win, and Michigan is one of them. Over the last four races here, he currently has the highest average finish, the highest percentage of laps led, but no victories. I see that changing this week. Toyota and Gibbs have been fast this season as Truex’s teammates have all punched their tickets to the playoffs. Look for Truex to be next in line.

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