For the second straight night an Astros starter pitched well enough to win. And for the second straight night, it didn’t happen. A solid outing by Jarred Cosart was wasted when Bo Porter decided to bring in Kevin Chapman in the bottom of the ninth with a 5-4 lead.
Ron Washington countered with pinch-hitter Michael Choice and the Rangers’ rookie gave a Chapman fastball a 412-foot ride into the Rangers’ bullpen in right-centerfield to tie the game. The Astros would eventually extract revenge by retiring Choice an inning later to end the game and get a 6-5 win.
Cosart got off to a slow start, falling behind early by allowing single runs in three of the first four innings. The offense got off to a slow start as well, failing to mount any sort of a threat before a 5-run explosion in the fourth inning. Robbie Grossman delivered the big blow, a 3-run shot off Tanner Scheppers.
Cosart’s night would come to a close after a seventh inning that featured a beautiful diving catch by Jose Altuve with his back to the infield and Shin-Soo Choo‘s fourth straight strikeout of the night. Jarred would tally eight total strikeouts while allowing three runs on six hits and a pair of walks. It wasn’t the best performance we’ve ever seen, but Cosart did what he needed to do to give his team a chance to win. This just in: The kid can pitch!
The Astros offense fell silent again after their big fourth inning. But a tenth inning triple by Jason Castro and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Altuve would help Chapman vulture the win. Anthony Bass converted his second save of the year with a scoreless tenth. A spectacular play by Jonathan Villar on a grounder in the hole by Alex Rios was the highlight of the inning.
Matt Albers, the first reliever summoned by Bo Porter tonight, let the Rangers close the deficit to 5-4 in the eighth. Albers, making his first appearance since returning from the paternity list, may have been a little rusty. Matt walked the first batter he faced and that runner eventually came around to score.
Losers of 20 of their last 23 against the Rangers, this looked like another game that was going to get away from Porter and his bullpen. But some timely hitting and spectacular defense helped the Astros hang on and gain a rare victory over their in-state rivals.
Buy Texas Rangers tickets to the third game of this set and see of the Astros can win another against their in-state rival.