Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Astros 8, Rangers 0
By Jean-Jacques Taylor
HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers’ 10-game wining streak at Minute Maid Park ended Tuesday night.
It was the Rangers’ first loss in Houston since the 2013 season opener.
Houston thumped the Rangers 8-0, but that didn’t matter much in the big picture.
The Rangers are much more concerned about the health of starter Matt Harrison, who left the game with back stiffness after just 1 2/3 innings.
Harrison, who missed virtually all of last season after having surgery to repair a herniated disk, started the season on the disabled list.
He struggled from the onset against Houston, allowing four hits and walking three batters on a cool 66-degree evening at Minute Maid Park -- the roof was open -- before leaving the game.
The weak-hitting Astros battered reliever Justin Germano, Harrison’s replacement. Germano allowed six hits and five runs in 3 1/3 innings as Houston took an 8-0 lead after a four-run fifth inning.
A few observations:
Mowed down: Houston starter Dallas Keuchel struck out the side on 10 pitches in the second. Alex Rios, Michael Choice and Leonys Martin were the victims.
Princely review: Prince Fielder poked a pitch down the left-field line and hustled into second with an apparent double after a head-first slide. Houston manager Bo Porter requested a review of the play, and after a 2-minute, 40-second examination of the play, Fielder was ruled out.
Platinum sombrero:Rios, the Rangers’ leading hitter, struck out for the fifth consecutive time when he went down on strikes in the second inning. The streak ended when he singled in the fourth.
Ouch: Shin-Soo Choo took over the AL lead when he was hit by a pitch for the seventh time this season in the third inning. He took a fastball just above his right elbow. Luckily, Choo was wearing an elbow guard. If not, he might have been doing a lot more than wincing as he trotted down to first base.
Streak ends: Elvis Andrus extends his hitting streak to 10 with single to right to lead off the ninth inning.
Up Next The Rangers will play the final game of their three-game series against Houston, with Nick Tepesch (0-0, 0.00 ERA) facing Scott Feldman (2–1, 1.93 ERA) in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. start on ESPN's 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.