That did not last long.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre strained his left hamstring fielding a ground ball to his left in the seventh inning and had to leave the game. The Astros, who were leading at the time, salvaged the series finale with a 5-1 win. Houston prevented a sweep and prevented the Rangers from going above .500. But perhaps, most importantly, it may have been the last game Beltre plays in a while.
“It’s not good,” Beltre said.
He’ll have an MRI Friday to see if there is any structural damage but even if there isn’t hamstrings can take time to heal. Beltre has famously dealt with leg injuries in the past, including during spring training, which kept him out of the lineup the first two months.
1. Offense AWOL — The Rangers’ offense, which had racked up 20 runs on 25 hits the first two games at the Trop, were held to four hits on Thursday. Shin-Soo Choo singled in the first and later scored on Nomar Mazara’s groundout but Texas was held to three hits the next eight innings. In the fourth, Joey Gallo doubled with one out and Carlos Gomez walked but Rougned Odor flew out to left and Drew Robinson was called out on strikes to end the inning. The Rangers had another chance to tie it in the fifth when Brett Nichoals led off with a single and moved to third on Mazara’s two-out double, but Beltre lined out to right to end the inning.
2. Hinch ejected — Here’s one thing Astros and Rangers’ fans can agree on: umpire Joe West has a short fuse. Astros manager A.J. Hinch was ejected in the first inning after Alex Bregman was called for batter’s interference on a swinging strikeout which automatically tagged George Springer who was running on the play, with the second out of the inning. Hinch argued home plate umpire Chris Segal’s call before West, the crew chief, threw him out. It’s the first time this season Hinch has been ejected.
“It’s pretty rare ... to get thrown out by a guy who wasn’t even in the argument,” Hinch told the Houston Chronicle.
3. Nick solid — Nick Martinez allowed two runs on six hits over five innings and left trailing 2-1. He allowed a first-inning home run to Jose Altuve and a run-scoring single in the fourth. He struck out six and walked none but took the loss to fall to 3-6.
4. Attend and support — Attending games this weekend at Globe Life Park means you’re helping support Hurricane Harvey relief. The Rangers are donating 10 percent of tickets sales, concessions and the proceeds from the Texas 2 Split 50/50 raffle to relief efforts. They’re also collecting items such as clothing and diapers from fans to send to South Texas. The stadium concessionaire Arlington Sportsservice and its parent company Delaware North is also matching donations up to $50,000.