Saturday, July 6, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Astros 9, Rangers 5
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish allowed a season-high five earned runs and the Rangers' bullpen gave up two crushing home runs in a 9-5 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
Still in second: The Rangers had a chance to move back into first place Saturday but instead got hammered by the 32-56 Astros. It was very unexpected with Darvish starting against Houston and is probably the most disappointing loss of the season.
Ross slumping: Robbie Ross' slump continued in appearance No. 40 of the season. After the Rangers had rallied to tie the game at four in the bottom of the sixth, Ross gave up the lead with his second go-ahead home run allowed this week. It was Seattle's Kyle Seager in the 11th inning in Wednesday's 4-2 loss. This time, it was Houston's Jason Castro who slugged a three-run homer for a 7-4 lead. Ross has given up three home runs in his past five appearances, all to left-handed hitters. He hadn't allowed a home run in his first 35 appearances this season.
Scheppers, too: Setup man Tanner Scheppers, who was named as a Final Vote candidate for the last spot on the American League All-Star team, had another rough outing. He allowed a two-run home run -- the first of his season -- to No. 9 hitter Jake Elmore in the top of the eighth inning put the Rangers in a 9-5 hole.
Soto delivers: The numbers were against Geovany Soto. He had two hits in his past 24 at-bats. He was two for his past 29 against left-handed pitchers, but with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Soto tied the game at four with a three-run homer to left-center field. Soto's homer traveled 415 feet. Four of Soto's past eight hits have been long balls.
Darvish stumbles: Darvish was an out away from a perfect game on April 2 in Houston. He didn't pitch anywhere near that well on Saturday night. Darvish allowed six hits and three walks in an uneven performance. He put the Rangers behind 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, allowing a two-run home run to Astros center fielder Brandon Barnes, who had four long balls coming into the game. Darvish allowed another crushing two-out hit in the bottom of the fifth as Houston left fielder Marc Krauss had a two-run single to give Houston a 4-0 lead. Darvish had five strikeouts, upping his major league leading total to 156 K's.
Wasted chance: The Rangers had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the second when Adrian Beltre started the inning with a double and moved to third on Lance Berkman's fly ball to left field. But Mitch Moreland couldn't come up with a productive out, striking out for the second out. Moreland is 6-for-49 since coming off the disabled list. Soto, on a 2-for-23 skid at the time, then flew out to left to end the inning.
Up next: The Rangers finish up a three-game series against the Astros with right-hander Justin Grimm (7-6, 5.84 ERA) facing left-hander Erik Bedard (3-4, 4.59 ERA) at 2:05 p.m. Sunday afternoon on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.