Springer's expression sums up evening
(c) Houston Chronicle
The Astros dropped another 1-run game to their in-state rivals Monday night at Minute Maid Park. Rougned Odor's 12th inning homer off James Hoyt ended a streak of eleven consecutive scoreless innings by Houston relievers and propelled the Rangers to their 14th victory in 17 games against the Astros.
Houston starter Doug Fister struggled in the early going and it looked like it was going to be an easy win for the Metroplexuals. Carlos Beltran's RBI single and a broken bat double by Odor put the Astros in a 2-0 hole in the top of the first.
Marwin Gonzalez cut the lead in half in the second with a 2-out single that scored Carlos Correa from second. But the Rangers got that run back in the third when Odor drove in his second run of the night with a single up the middle.
Fister got into a groove for the next couple of innings, keeping the score at 3-1 through five. But the Astros couldn't solve left-hander Martin Perez. Swinging at pitches out of the strike zone on a regular bases, the Astros entered the seventh inning with only two hits against the Rangers' starter. Yulieski Gurriel led off the frame with Houston's third hit of the night but was thrown out by a country mile attempting to steal with Evan Gattis at the plate representing the tying run.
Perez ended up walking Gattis and was removed from the game having thrown a total of 91 pitches. Matt Bush replaced Perez on the mound and, after getting Gonzalez to hit into a force play, issued a walk to pinch-hitter Colby Rasmus. Tony Kemp came on to bat for Jake Marisnick and delivered a scorching line drive down the rightfield line. But the ball bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double, preventing Rasmus from scoring the tying run. Bush struck out George Springer with a 100 m.p.h. fastball to end the inning with two runners left stranded in scoring position.
Sam Dyson was unable to protect a 3-2 lead for the Rangers in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Evan Gattis crushed a solo shot onto the train tracks in left for his 26th homer of the season. Gonzalez followed with a single but was gunned down trying to steal second as Rasmus struck out, sending the game to extra innings.
Ken Giles matched Keone Kela with two scoreless innings pitched, sending the contest to a 12th stanza. Odor, leading off the inning, hammered a 2-0 offering from Hoyt into the rightfield seats and the Astros were unable to answer against Jake Diekman in the bottom half of the frame.
For the second straight night the Astros hit a number of hard shots that ended up being caught by opposition defenders. Suffering their fifth loss in the last six games, the team's playoff chances are dwindling rapidly.
- Greg Thurston