Better effort, same result


The Astros made it interesting tonight in Arlington but couldn’t quite get over the hump. A 3-2 loss to the Rangers extended their longest losing streak of the year to eleven games. The Rangers had to win to stay one game behind Cleveland in the wildcard standings. Earlier in the evening, the Indians won in dramatic fashion as pinch-hitter Jason Giambi delivered a 2-run walkoff homer to sink the White Sox 5-4.

After a lackluster effort on Monday, Houston hitters showed better plate discipline tonight against Yu Darvish. The Astros loaded the bases in the first inning with a single and a couple of walks. Chris Carter just missed a homerun but hit the ball deep enough to score Jose Altuve on a sacrifice fly. In the sixth inning Matt Dominguez lined a Darvish fastball high off the leftfield foul pole to tie the game at two. Darvish left the game two batters later, having thrown over 100 pitches.

Brad Peacock (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Astros failed to push any more runs across against the Texas bullpen despite some good opportunities. A lack of offense has been the main problem for Houston during their current losing streak — particularly a lack of production from the leadoff spot. Jonathan Villar has only two hits in his last 25 at-bats and a change at the top of the order is well overdue.

Brad Peacock pitched well enough to win tonight and both Kevin Chapman and Josh Zeid gave gutsy performances out of the ‘pen. Adrian Beltre‘s solo homer in the sixth accounted for the last run of the evening and made a loser out of Peacock.

The Astros will send Dallas Keuchel to the mound tomorrow as they try to salvage the series finale. Martin Perez gets the start for Texas.