Manager Ron Washington almost seemed baffled by a question about Rougned Odor a few days ago.
It came the day after Odor and Alex Rios let a routine fly ball drop between them in right field to break up Yu Darvish’s perfect game bid on Friday. Could that type of play, in Washington’s mind, shake the confidence of a rookie such as Odor playing in his second game?
“Nah,” Washington said. “That kid is tough.”
Odor has proven him right and has shown signs he’s ready for the big leagues at age 20.
Odor, making his fourth start Monday, belted an upper-deck home run, delivered a two-out RBI single and even caught a ball in his jersey during the Rangers’ 4-0 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Adrian Beltre snapped an 0 for 11 hitless streak with a two-run homer, Colby Lewis earned his second win in three starts and Robinson Chirinos threw out two more attempted base stealers.
But nobody was more impressive than Odor.
“Memorable night for him,” Beltre said. “He had the nice big hit, big homer and then that play at second base ”
The odd play at second came a half inning after Odor had his first homer. He got in front of a grounder by Matt Dominguez and it took an awkward hop and ended up in his jersey.
Odor joked that he’ll likely see that play quite a bit, but at least it’ll remind him of his first big night in the majors.
Beltre staked the Rangers to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a two-run shot to left, snapping a hitless streak that had grown to 11 at-bats for him.
“I need to be doing that more often,” Beltre said. “Hopefully it’s the start of something better.”
Texas made it 3-0 in the fourth on a two-out single up the middle by Odor to score Mitch Moreland.
Odor added an insurance run in the sixth, depositing a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock into the second deck in right.
“I was expecting that pitch and thank God I connected,” Odor said.
Odor got the ball back, too, for two autographed baseballs and plans to give his first homer ball to his mom.
Those runs were enough as the pitching staff posted its major league-leading ninth shutout.
Lewis had a base runner reach in every inning but pitched out of it. He scattered seven hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. He won for the second time in three starts and bounced back after lasting only 3 2/3 innings in his last start vs. Colorado on Wednesday.
“I thought I was a lot better warming up in the bullpen than I was in the game,” Lewis said. “It didn’t translate as well as I thought. But I was still able to make my pitches, work in and out. My slider was sharp and I was able to keep them off balance.”
He also got help from the bullpen. Nick Martinez got the final out of the sixth, stranding runners at second and third, and worked the seventh and part of the eighth.
Neal Cotts replaced Martinez with runners at the corners and one out in the eight and got out of it with a pair of strikeouts.
Joakim Soria closed it out by working around Jose Altuve’s one-out double in the ninth.
The Rangers’ shutout came on a night they didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning and had a 5.91 ERA over the previous 12 games.
“We hit a bad spell pitching wise,” Washington said. “It’s about consistency. They’re capable of throwing shutouts and hopefully we can keep doing it.”