Astros thump Rangers again to take series victory in final matchup of 2021

Houston Astros' Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker
The Astros' offense couldn't be stopped in Thursday's finale against the Rangers. Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Astros' offense couldn't be stopped in Thursday's finale against the Rangers.

After a disappointing loss in the second matchup of this four-game series, the Astros won the third, giving them a chance for the series victory in the fourth and final game. They would hold all the momentum in the finale, getting a rout of the Rangers on Thursday.

Final Score: Astros 12, Rangers 1

Astros' Record: 86-50, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (11-7)

Losing Pitcher: Glenn Otto (0-2)

Garcia does well in the unexpected start

After a late scratch to Framber Valdez with a cut on his finger, Luis Garcia would make his start a day early in the finale against the Rangers. He did well, getting a 1-2-3 first then working around some traffic in the second. In the second, he kept Texas off the board, again erasing runners after a walk and a single.

A double play erased a one-out walk in the fourth, and then he followed that with a 1-2-3 fifth. He kept going in the bottom of the sixth, but Dusty Baker would lift him in favor of Yimi Garcia after a leadoff single and one-out double. Garcia allowed one of the inherited runs to score but finished the inning to finalize Garcia's line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 0 HR, 87 P.

Houston's offense rolls

Garcia would leave in line for the win, thanks to a tremendous amount of offense behind him. The Astros put together a seven-run fourth inning to start the scoring for the game, putting two on base for a three-run homer by Carlos Correa, then loaded the bases with walks to set up a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman. Yordan Alvarez made it 6-0 with an RBI double after that, then Yuli Gurriel put a bow on it with an RBI single in the next at-bat, and just like that, the Astros were in front 7-0.

They didn't stop there, as a walk and a double to start the top of the sixth gave Alex Bregman a chance for some more RBI, and he took advantage with a two-run single to extend the lead to 9-0, giving him 4 RBI for the night. Yimi Garcia remained in the game in the bottom of the seventh and erased a single and a walk to keep the score 9-1.

Astros finish domination of Rangers in 2021

A one-out walk in the top of the eighth presented Houston with the chance for more runs, and Chas McCormick took advantage, launching a two-run homer to make it a ten-run game, then a two-out RBI ground-rule double by Jake Meyers made it 12-1. Phil Maton was Houston's next reliever in the bottom of the eighth, and he sat down the Rangers 1-2-3.

Josh James came on to finish things off in the bottom of the ninth, which he did with a scoreless inning to finish off the eleven-run win. The victory also gave Houston fourteen wins in the nineteen-game season series, continuing their domination of Texas in recent seasons.

Up Next: With this quick Arlington road trip completed, the Astros return home to face the Diamondbacks at Minute Maid Park on Friday at 7:10 PM Central. Due to Framber Valdez being a late scratch on Thursday, resulting in Luis Garcia starting, Houston has not yet figured out their rotation for the series or their starter for the opener. Madison Bumgarner (7-10, 4.66 ERA) is slated to be on the hill for Arizona.

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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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