Jonathan Lucroy homered twice and Carlos Beltran drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh as the Rangers evened the series with the Astros with a 3-2 win Saturday evening at Minute Maid Park.
Pitching: Lucas Harrell walked in a run after three consecutive two-out walks came after Alex Bregman’s double. Harrell struck out A.J. Reed to escape more damage. After a two-out single by Bregman in the fourth, Tony Barnette replaced Harrell to face Jose Altuve. Altuve grounded out to end the inning. Harrell threw 92 pitches (only 44 strikes). He allowed five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings. The Astros had runners on the corners with one out in the fifth but Barnette got Reed to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus both made tough throws on the play and Mitch Moreland picked a one-hopper in the dirt to complete the play. Keona Kela, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Diekman threw perfect innings of relief before Sam Dyson closed it out in the ninth to earn his 24th save but not before Bregman drove in a run to pull Houston to within 3-2. Marwin Gonzalez hit for Altuve in the ninth with Bregman on first and grounded out to second to end the game. Altuve was out of the game after being ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the seventh after he was caught looking.
Hitting: Nomar Mazara was thrown out at home trying to score on Shin-Soo Choo’s single to right field in the fourth. George Springer’s throw home to catcher Jason Castro easily beat Mazara, who nearly eluded Castro’s tag. The Rangers challenged the call but replays were inconclusive and the call stood to end the inning. Jonathan Lucroy ripped the first pitch of the sixth into the Crawford boxes in left field to tie it at 1-1. Choo started the seventh with a walk, stole second base, and scored on Carlos Beltran’s single to give Texas a 2-1 lead. With two outs, Beltran was thrown out at home on Rougned Odor’s double to the left-center gap to end the inning. Lucroy homered again to start the eighth to make it 3-1.
Notable: The Astros celebrated their pennant winning 1986 team before Saturday’s game. Mike Scott, who won the National League Cy Young award in 1986, threw out the first pitch ... both teams wore throwback uniforms for the game ... Astros rookie Alex Bregman collected his first major league multi-hit game ... Carlos Beltran hit his 527th career double in the fifth to move all alone into 42nd place all-time ... A sell out crowd of 42,272 was on hand Saturday. It’s the second sell out at Minute Maid Park in 2016 ... Beltran left the game after the middle of the seventh with a left quad bruise.