The Rangers make their final trip to Houston to take on the Astros for a three-game set at Minute Maid Park, beginning Monday night.
The Rangers lead the Astros by 9 1/2 games in the American League West. A Texas sweep would be knockout blow to Houston. The Astros, however, still have dwindling hopes of earning one of two wild card spots. They start the series tied with the Mariners, 3 1/2 games back of the Orioles and Blue Jays, who are currently in the wild card slots at 78-64, and 1 1/2 games back of the Tigers and Yankees. The Astros need to win and keep winning the final three weeks to have a shot.
We’ve got our eyes on the prize and trying to get one step closer.
Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre
Adrian Beltre said it’s important to not give the Astros any ideas.
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“We’re going there thinking we need to at least win the series,” he said. “They play us tough there. For us, we want to make sure we keep them from having any extra motivation to have that spark that they can come back and catch us. It’s happened before and we don’t want to be that team again.”
Although the Rangers have dominated the series the past two seasons — 13-6 in 2015 and 13-3 with three to play in ‘16 — there’s no loss of respect for the Astros’ young talent.
“We respect them. They have a good team and we’ll do everything in our power to not give them that chance,” Beltre said. “We’ve got our eyes on the prize and trying to get one step closer.”
The series details:
Monday: LHP Martin Perez (10-10, 4.25) vs. RHP Doug Fister (12-11, 4.14) 7:05 p.m. (TV: FSSW)
Tuesday: RHP A.J. Griffin (7-4, 4.92) vs. RHP Brad Peacock (0-0, 3.38) 7:05 p.m. (TV: FSSW)
Wednesday: RHP Yu Darvish (5-4, 3.28) vs. RHP Joe Musgrove (2-4, 4.78) 7:05 p.m. (TV: FSSW)