Yesterday was a good day at the office for the Astros.
Not only did the team celebrate general manager Jeff Luhnow’s birthday with a win, but the Astros also managed to snap an embarrassing streak of defeat to the Texas Rangers.
But it wasn’t easy. The Astros offense has continued to be somewhat anemic for the most part in this Rangers series. However, three runs yesterday was just enough for starter Doug Fister, who has been a steady hand in the starting rotation. In fact, the Astros have won the last eight games that Fister has started. But it helps when he only allows one run to a Rangers offense that has had the Astros number all season.
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The Astros will be going for the series split this afternoon against the Rangers. To hopefully achieve this goal the Astros will be sending out Collin McHugh to take on lefty Martin Perez of the Rangers. This is the first time all season that McHugh has faced the Rangers, but he currently owns a 4-0 record with a sub-4.00 ERA against the division rival for his career. Perez will also be making his first of the season against the Astros.
The top of the Astros order normally dictates the outcome of the game. If George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa can get going, then the rest of offense doesn’t have to press nearly as much to get positive results. But the offense needs to show more firepower like it has throughout the past two weeks.
The offense could be the key to today’s game. Leaving Arlington with a series spilt is of course much, much better than leaving with a series loss. But that is easier said than done.
**Statistics provided by ESPN.com, Baseball-Reference & MLB.com**