Houston's winning streak snapped

Astros crushed by Rangers as Houston comes up short of the sweep

The Astros had a forgettable day in Arlington on Sunday after getting handed a lopsided loss by the Rangers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Having secured the series victory already, the Astros tried to extend their winning streak to five games on Sunday against the Rangers if they could finish the three-game sweep. Instead, a slow start by their offense, along with a terrible day on the mound, allowed the Rangers to salvage a game and snap Houston's winning streak.

Final Score: Rangers 13, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 77-53, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Taylor Hearn (4-4)

Losing Pitcher: Zack Greinke (11-5)

Greinke doesn't have it

Zack Greinke would have a start to forget, which became apparent in the bottom of the first inning. The Rangers jumped out a 3-0 lead that frame, tagging him with three straight singles to start the inning, the third bringing in a run, followed by a sac fly and RBI double before Greinke could get out of it.

He rebounded with a scoreless second but allowed another run in the third, watching a leadoff double score on a sac fly later in the frame, making it 4-0. He dealt with another lengthy inning in the bottom of the fourth, allowing a leadoff double then a one-out RBI double to make it 5-0. He finished the fourth, then tried to continue in the fifth, but a leadoff solo homer would end his day: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 76 P.

Rangers keep pouring it on

The Astros, who went without a baserunner in the first four innings, tried to get back into it in the top of the fifth, putting together a two-run inning on a solo homer by Yordan Alvarez and RBI double by Jake Meyers. The Rangers would quickly push things back out of reach, though, as after Greinke exited with no outs in the bottom of the inning, Bryan Abreu would come in and have a disastrous appearance.

He struggled mightily, allowing two RBI singles and leaving the bases loaded for Adolis Garcia, who made it a ten-run lead with a grand slam. Blake Taylor would enter to finish the frame, but not before allowing Abreu's seventh earned run to make it 13-2. Taylor remained on the mound in the bottom of the sixth, working around an error for a scoreless inning.

Astros drop lopsided finale

Phil Maton was Houston's next reliever, coming in for the bottom of the seventh, which he would complete without allowing any more damage. The final pitcher on the afternoon was Brooks Raley, who tossed Houston's only 1-2-3 inning of the day. The Astros would not get the miraculous rally in the top of the ninth, instead going down scoreless as the Rangers finished the win to avoid the sweep.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Seattle on Sunday evening before picking up a three-game set with the Mariners on Monday at 9:10 PM Central. In the opener, the expected pitching matchup is Luis Garcia (10-6, 3.21 ERA) for Houston and Chris Flexen (11-5, 3.54 ERA) for Seattle.

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Here's why the Texans will make the playoffs under Lovie Smith

1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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