Despite getting eleven hits, the Astros failed to score a run in tonight’s series opener against the Rangers at Minute Maid Park. News flash: You can’t win if you don’t score.
The strategy of being overly aggressive on the basepaths against a rusty pitcher who was having command issues proved to be counterproductive. The Astros ran themselves out of at least one run in the first inning. After Jose Altuve led off the game with the first of his three hits, he was promptly thrown out attempting to steal second base. Dexter Fowler then tripled to rightfield. Fowler was lucky to make it to third. Adrian Beltre was unable to handle the throw that arrived well ahead of Dexter. Fowler was also caught stealing to end a threat in the third inning.
The Astros’ inability to score overshadowed an outstanding effort by Brad Peacock. The Astros starting pitcher racked up a career best eleven strikeouts in six innings of work. A hanging curveball to Beltre in the third inning resulted in a 2-run homer. That was really all the Rangers would need. In the sixth inning, Rougned Odor belted Peacock’s 100th pitch of the game into the second deck in rightfield for his first big league homer to put the icing on the cake.
Josh Zeid, Darin Downs, and Paul Clemens combined to throw three scoreless innings of relief in what was a moral victory for the Astros bullpen. After looking bad on strikeouts in his first two plate appearances, George Springer added a pair of hits in his last two at-bats.