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