Houston loses big to the Rangers

Greinke shelled in return from IL as Rangers even series

Zack Greinke's return from the IL did not go well against the Rangers on Tuesday night. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

After demolishing the Rangers in Monday's opener, the Astros looked to continue their dominance against Texas on Tuesday in Arlington. Instead, they'd be on the receiving end of an offensive barrage, with Zack Greinke making a disappointing start in his return from the IL.

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 1

Astros' Record: 84-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jordan Lyles (9-11)

Losing Pitcher: Zack Greinke (11-6)

Rough return for Greinke

In his first start since August 29th after landing on the COVID IL, things did not go as planned for Zack Greinke. The Rangers jumped on him in the bottom of the first, getting a two-out two-run homer to take a 2-0 lead. Another two-run blast came in the bottom of the third after an error put a man on to set things up and extend Texas' lead to 4-0.

After rebounding well with 1-2-3 frames in the fourth and fifth, things fell apart in the sixth as a leadoff double and a walk turned into an RBI single and three-run homer, making it an 8-0 deficit and ending Greinke's night before he could get an out in the inning. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3 HR, 75 P.

Astros fall as Rangers even the series

After Greinke, Houston's bullpen took over and did well, but the damage had already been done. Yimi Garcia finished the sixth for Greinke, working around a walk, then Blake Taylor tossed a scoreless seventh by erasing a double and a walk. Brooks Raley was Houston's last reliever, coming in and providing a scoreless bottom of the eighth. Houston's only run of the night came in the top of the ninth, too little too late, as Carlos Correa would get an RBI single to avoid the shutout.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 7:05 PM Central start on Wednesday. Kohei Arihara (2-3, 5.89 ERA) is slated to start the game for the Rangers, while Jose Urquidy (6-3, 3.51 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros.

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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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