Texas Rangers

Rangers’ loss to Astros in finale can’t dampen 8-2 homestand

Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor on the Rangers' 8-2 homestand

Rangers infielders Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor say the club took care of business during 8-2 home stand against Indians, Mariners and Astros (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).
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Rangers infielders Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor say the club took care of business during 8-2 home stand against Indians, Mariners and Astros (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).

By every measure the Texas Rangers’ 10-game homestand was a rousing success, even before they suited up against the Houston Astros for Sunday’s finale.

The Rangers’ 7-6 loss at Globe Life Park barely measures as a ripple in the large scheme of things in 2016.

Why?

Because the Rangers embark on their last 10-game road trip of the season with a 9- 1/2 game lead over the Astros in the American League West.

The Rangers won three of four against the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians, swept the Seattle Mariners into third place and took two of three from the Astros, who needed a sweep to seriously maintain hopes of winning the West.

Instead, the Rangers, at 82-55, have the best record in the AL with 25 games to go. It matches the best record after 137 games, set in 2012.

If you continue to play like that throughout a season you’re going to win the World Series. It’s always nice to fare well against good teams like that, but we have to keep our foot on the gas pedal.

Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

The 2012 season didn’t end all that well. The Rangers finished 11-14, including 1-5 against the Oakland A’s, who overtook the Rangers with a three-game sweep the final weekend of the season to force the Rangers into the wild-card game, which they lost at home to the Orioles.

Only a third of that Rangers’ roster is still around, including Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus.

“We’re doing a good job of not thinking about it yet. I think it’s too early,” said Andrus, who got the day off at shortstop in place of Jurickson Profar. “We still have a lot of baseball ahead of us. We know if we can continue to play on that level we’re going to be able to win a lot of games. That’s the message from everybody. Don’t think about it or start counting. It’s too early for that.”

Carlos Gomez received three stitches above his left eye after getting cut by his helmet during a stolen base during Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Astros (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).

Yu Darvish, who was a rookie on that team, took the loss Sunday after allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings. It’s the shortest outing for Darvish since Aug. 9, 2014, his last start before eventually having Tommy John surgery.

The Astros scored twice in the first, including a leadoff homer by George Springer, and three more times in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead.

75Runs scored by the Rangers during their 8-2 home stand.

“I was feeling good, so you have to tip your cap to their offense today,” said Darvish, who dropped to 5-4 and snapped his string of quality starts at eight. “I gave up bloopers, infield hits. I was making good pitches. That home run was down and away. I made a pitch and he hit it good. They just did a good job today.”

The Rangers’ offense was on track during the homestand, outscoring opponents 75-43 and collecting 10 or more hits in six of the 10 games, including the last five for a combined 67 hits.

Nobody was more prolific during the stretch than Rougned Odor, who went 3 for 5 Sunday with three RBIs and his team-leading 29th homer, which pulled the Rangers to within 5-2 in the fourth.

The Rangers scored three more in the fifth to pull to within 6-5, but the Astros held on with closer Ken Giles closing it out after surrendering a run in the ninth.

Odor had six homers and 17 RBIs on the homestand and has an RBI in a career-high six consecutive games.

“It’s late in the season. This is the time to help your team win,” said Odor, who has extra-base hits in the past five games. “I feel pretty good right now at the plate. I’m just trying to look for my pitch and hit the ball hard.”

The Rangers begin a 10-game road trip Monday afternoon in Seattle. After four against the Mariners they play three in Anaheim, Sept. 9-11, and three in Houston, Sept. 12-14.

Manager Jeff Banister said the offense showed how dangerous it can be.

“We’re getting production up and down the lineup,” he said. “That was, in my opinion, what we needed to do before we go out on this 10-day road trip. These guys are in a good place right now.”

That’s for sure, Andrus said, but there’s no celebrating yet.

“We’re in the driver’s seat right now,” he said. “We can’t take anything for granted, there’s a lot of good series left to play.”

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

Astros 7, Rangers 6

Houston AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Springer rf

4

2

2

2

1

2

.256

Bregman 2b

5

1

3

1

0

0

.260

Altuve dh

3

0

0

1

2

0

.346

Correa ss

5

0

1

0

0

0

.274

Gurriel 3b

5

0

1

1

0

1

.303

Gattis c

5

1

1

1

0

4

.250

Rasmus lf

4

1

2

0

1

2

.213

White 1b

4

1

0

0

1

0

.212

Marisnick cf

4

1

1

1

0

2

.217

Totals 39

7

11

7

5

11

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Mazara rf

5

1

1

0

0

3

.274

Desmond cf

5

2

2

1

0

1

.292

Beltran dh

5

1

2

1

0

2

.270

Beltre 3b

4

1

1

1

1

0

.291

Odor 2b

5

1

3

3

0

2

.280

Lucroy c

4

0

0

0

0

0

.289

Moreland 1b

3

0

0

0

0

0

.251

Gomez lf

3

0

1

0

1

1

.222

Profar ss

3

0

1

0

1

1

.260

Totals 37

6

11

6

3

10

Houston

200

311

000

7

11

0

Texas

000

230

001

6

11

1

E—Odor (20). LOB—Houston 10, Texas 8. 2B—Marisnick (14), Desmond (29), Beltran (28). 3B—Desmond (3). HR—Springer (26), off Darvish; Gattis (24), off Martinez; Odor (29), off McHugh. RBIs—Springer 2 (75), Bregman (24), Altuve (90), Gurriel (3), Gattis (59), Marisnick (15), Desmond (81), Beltran (81), Beltre (91), Odor 3 (79). SB—Bregman (1), Gomez (15).

Runners left in scoring position—Houston 7 (Correa 2, Gurriel 2, Gattis, White 2); Texas 3 (Lucroy, Moreland, Profar). RISP—Houston 3 for 14; Texas 2 for 10.

Runners moved up—Correa 2, Bregman, Beltre 2.

Houston

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

McHugh

4 1/3

7

5

5

2

3

87

4.96

Devenski W, 3-4

1 2/3

1

0

0

0

2

16

2.16

Harris H, 21

1

2

0

0

0

2

15

2.36

Gregerson H, 10

1

0

0

0

1

1

17

2.98

Giles S, 8-11

1

1

1

1

0

2

12

3.64

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Darvish L, 5-4

4

7

5

5

3

4

80

3.45

Martinez

2

2

2

2

1

1

29

7.28

Barnette

2

1

0

0

1

4

35

2.15

Leclerc

1

1

0

0

0

2

9

1.35

Inherited runners-scored—Devenski 1-0. IBB—off Barnette (Altuve). HBP—McHugh (Moreland). WP—Darvish 2, Devenski, Barnette.

Umpires—Home, Jerry Layne; First, Alan Porter; Second, Hunter Wendelstedt; Third, Scott Barry.

T—3:22. A—46,025 (48,114).

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