Houston gets the victory

Astros get back in the win column with 7-2 victory over Rangers

Jose Urquidy was impressive against the Rangers on Wednesday night. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

After a disappointing lopsided loss on Tuesday to even the series, the Astros tried to get back in position to take the series with a win on Wednesday. They would get it, thanks to a great start by Jose Urquidy and plenty of run support behind him.

Final Score: Astros 7, Rangers 2

Astros' Record: 85-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (7-3)

Losing Pitcher: Kohei Arihara (2-4)

Houston goes back-to-back in the second

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Houston would strike first to start the scoring in the top of the second. A one-out single by Kyle Tucker set up the first two runs of the game, a two-run homer by Jake Meyers to make it 2-0. Marwin Gonzalez was next, and he made it back-to-back homers with a solo shot in the next at-bat, extending the lead to 3-0 with his second homer since re-joining the Astros.

Urquidy tosses an impressive quality start

The three-run inning put Houston's starter, Jose Urquidy, in a good position. After a walk to start the game, he settled in, retiring the next six batters he faced. The Rangers got on the board in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff triple on a nearly scary play by Kyle Tucker that collided with the right-field wall tracking a long fly ball, which would ultimately fall in for the hit. Houston ceded a run on a groundball, making it 3-1 as Urquidy would get the next three batters in order to end the frame.

His offense backed him up with more runs in the next two innings, getting back-to-back hits to start the fourth, setting up a two-RBI single by Chas McCormick later in the inning, then in the fifth, Yordan Alvarez made it a five-run game with an RBI double. Urquidy remained efficient the rest of the way, allowing just one hit while retiring eleven of the final twelve batters he faced. His final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 81 P.

Astros get the win

Ryne Stanek took over in the bottom of the seventh, working around a leadoff single to keep the lead at 6-1. Kyle Tucker got his third hit of the night in the next inning, this one a solo homer to add another insurance run and make it 7-1.
Kendall Graveman pitched the eighth, a 1-2-3 inning, and then Josh James came in to finish things in the ninth. He allowed a run, but it would matter little as the Astros would get their 85th win of the season, giving them a chance to get the series win on Thursday.

Up Next: The final game of this four-game series and the last matchup between these two teams this season will be another 7:05 PM Central start on Thursday. Glenn Otto (0-1, 6.92 ERA) will make his fourth career start for the Rangers, going opposite Framber Valdez (10-5, 3.26 ERA) for the Astros.

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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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