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Rangers Strand Eight: Fall to Verlander, Astros

Texas manages 10 hits off Houston pitching, but only gets one run across as the Rangers prepare for Sunday's finale

The Texas Rangers couldn’t overcome Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander and a trio of Astros relievers as they fell, 2-1, on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

The Rangers and Astros will turn around and play a getaway game on Sunday at 1:10 p.m., as the Rangers head to the west coast to face the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics.

Apr 25, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a double to drive in three runs in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Texas Rangers center fielder Adolis Garcia (53) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre . Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers managed 10 hits off Verlander (6-1) and relievers Phil Maton, Héctor Neris, and Ryan Pressly, who earned his fifth save. But Texas (18-21) managed just one run, which came in the eighth inning.

Texas stranded eight baserunners and was 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Adolis García was the only Rangers hitter to cash in at the plate, as he drove in Texas’ only run on a single to right field, which scored Corey Seager. García was later called out while trying to steal third, a play that was reviewed by the booth and confirmed.

The Astros (26-15) were limited to six hits by Rangers starter Jon Gray (1-2) and Rangers relievers Dennis Santana and Brett Martin. Gray went six innings in his second start since coming off the injured list, and Santana and Martin each threw scoreless innings to keep the Rangers in the game.

But Gray gave up both runs, one of which came in the first inning as Gray gave up a leadoff single to Jose Siri and then walked Michael Brantley. Gray wasn’t able to evade giving up a run, as Yordan Alvarez singled to left and drove in Brantley to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

May 27, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Willie Calhoun (5) hits a triple against the Seattle Mariners during the sixth inning at T-Mobile Park.
May 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe (30) cannot make a catch at first base as Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) is ruled safe during the fifth inning at Globe Life Field.
Apr 10, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (5) hits a single during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

In the top of the first, the Rangers nearly put a run up on the board after García appeared to drive home Brad Miller on a single with one out. Miller tried to slide around Astros catcher Jason Castro.

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Jun 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Adolis Garcia (53) celebrates with Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward (8) after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Jun 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Luis Garcia (2) cannot catch the ball to tag out Texas Rangers designated hitter Mitch Garver (18) at second base during the second inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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At first it looked like the home plate umpire called Miller out, but he was actually tapping his elbow to indicate to Castro that he didn’t touch Miller with his glove and called Miller safe.

The Astros challenged the call and it was overturned, with replay determining that Miller was actually tagged out. The Rangers then challenged whether Miller had a clear path to the plate, and that challenge was overturned, leaving the Rangers empty-handed.

Kole Calhoun then struck out to leave two runners on and allowing Verlander to escape a huge jam in the opening inning.

The Astros got their other run in the fifth on a wild pitch by Gray, one that caromed quickly off the backstop to catcher Jonah Heim, who nearly tagged out Castro.

García, Seager and Nathaniel Lowe each had two hits for Texas, while Alvarez was the only Astro with two hits.

In the first three games the Rangers and Astros have combined for 12 runs.


You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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