Texas Rangers

Astros pull off another grand comeback to stun Rangers

Jeff Banister dissects 8-7 loss to Astros Tuesday night

Rangers manager Jeff Banister applauded the job Alex Claudio did as an emergency starter but lamented the Astros five-run eighth that lifted them to an 8-7 win (Video by Stefan Stevenson).
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Rangers manager Jeff Banister applauded the job Alex Claudio did as an emergency starter but lamented the Astros five-run eighth that lifted them to an 8-7 win (Video by Stefan Stevenson).

The Texas Rangers’ offense has leaned on the home run to produce a bulk of their runs at an astonishingly high clip so far this season.

When the long balls aren’t flying, their offense has struggled to put consecutive hits together and the runs have been hard to come by.

And in games like Tuesday night’s against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, sometimes you’re just out-homered.

Marwin Gonzalez ripped a two-out grand slam in the eighth inning to lift the Astros to an 8-7 comeback win over the Rangers.

In the fourth inning I was a little tired but I was competing. I’m disappointed we didn’t win the game but I felt like I did a good job.

Rangers LHP Alex Claudio

The Rangers homered five times but it wasn’t enough.

Keone Kela was on in relief in the eighth nursing a 5-3 lead when he got into early trouble with a double and walk. The Astros loaded the bases with one out before Kela induced a foul-out to third base.

That brought up Gonzalez, who ripped a 2-1, 95 mph fastball down the right-field line. Just like that, the Rangers’ two-run lead was a two-run deficit. George Springer later added a run with an RBI single against Jeremy Jeffress to make it 8-5.

“The eighth inning got away from us, the leadoff double and walk,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Kela got a little quick and a little over-anxious in the delivery, trying to go down and away and pulled the ball back over the plate and Gonzalez put a good swing on it.”

It’s the second consecutive game the Astros have exploded for five-run innings. They scored five in the seventh Monday to rally for a 6-2 win.

“They get you beat,” Banister said of the big innings.

Nomar Mazara’s two-run homer in the ninth gave the Astros a scare, but Will Harris replaced Luke Gregerson and closed it out with two strikeouts and a groundout, stranding the tying run at third base.

The night started with a Rangers’ power show. Rangers batters took their turns popping homers into the left-field Crawford Boxes.

53.6Percent of Rangers’ runs this season that have scored on home runs, or 66 of 123 runs.

Delino DeShields led off the game with his first homer of the season. Joey Gallo followed with a solo shot in the second to put the Rangers up 2-0. In the fourth, Elvis Andrus’ solo shot made it 3-0 and Jonathan Lucroy’s two-run homer had the Rangers sitting pretty with a 5-0 lead.

The Rangers have scored 66 of their 123 runs this season on home runs. That’s 53.6 percent of their offense. Twenty-three of their 40 homers, including three Tuesday night, have been solo shots.

Emergency starter Alex Claudio, who replaced Cole Hamels who was scratched moments before first pitch with a tight right oblique, pitched valiantly in his first major league start. He held the Astros to three runs on four hits, including two homers over four-plus innings.

The Rangers’ bullpen held the Astros off for three innings but they finally broke through with a five-run eighth.

“There’s nothing you can do about it. Just turn the page and get ready for tomorrow,” said Andrus, who was 1 for 3 with a homer and walk before Mazara’s two-run shot. “Today was an amazing game. That’s the thing about baseball, you can’t fall asleep as an offense a little bit, but we played hard and were able to come back late.”

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

Texas

110

300

002

7

10

0

Houston

000

210

05x

8

11

0

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields lf

4

1

1

1

0

2

.256

Rua lf

1

0

0

0

0

1

.171

Choo rf

5

0

1

0

0

1

.256

Gomez cf

5

0

1

0

0

2

.233

Odor 2b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.181

Napoli 1b

4

0

0

0

0

4

.155

Gallo 3b

4

1

1

1

0

3

.207

Andrus ss

3

2

1

1

1

1

.287

Mazara dh

3

2

2

2

1

0

.245

Lucroy c

4

1

3

2

0

0

.232

Kozma pr

0

0

0

0

0

0

---

Totals 37

7

10

7

2

16

Houston AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Springer rf-cf

4

0

1

1

1

0

.240

Beltran dh

5

2

3

0

0

2

.250

Altuve 2b

3

2

1

2

1

1

.326

Correa ss

4

0

0

0

0

1

.226

Gattis c

4

1

1

0

0

0

.317

Gurriel 1b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.314

Gonzalez lf

3

2

2

5

1

0

.228

Bregman 3b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.253

Marisnick cf

2

0

1

0

0

0

.292

Reddick ph-rf

2

0

1

0

0

1

.284

Totals 35

8

11

8

3

5

LOB—Texas 5, Houston 6. 2B—Gomez (7), Beltran (4). HR—DeShields (1), off Fiers; Gallo (8), off Fiers; Andrus (4), off Fiers; Lucroy (2), off Fiers; Mazara (5), off Gregerson; Altuve (4), off Claudio; Gonzalez (6), off Claudio; Gonzalez (7), off Kela. RBIs—DeShields (3), Gallo (17), Andrus (11), Mazara 2 (20), Lucroy 2 (6), Springer (16), Altuve 2 (11), Gonzalez 5 (17). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 2 (DeShields, Napoli); Houston 2 (Beltran, Altuve). RISP—Texas 0 for 5; Houston 3 for 7. Runners moved up—Odor, Choo.

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Claudio

4

4

3

3

0

1

65

1.93

Leclerc

1

1

0

0

1

1

21

0.82

Dyson, H, 1

1 1/3

0

0

0

1

0

13

14.54

Alvarez, H, 1

 1/3

0

0

0

0

1

4

0.00

Kela, L, 0-1, BS, 1-1

1

3

4

4

1

1

26

4.91

Jeffress

 1/3

3

1

1

0

1

13

5.56

Houston

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Fiers

6

7

5

5

1

9

93

5.68

Hoyt, W, 1-0

2

1

0

0

0

5

30

0.00

Gregerson

0

1

2

2

1

0

12

6.75

Harris, S, 1-2

1

1

0

0

0

2

16

1.59

Claudio pitched to 1 batter in the 5th. Gregerson pitched to 2 batters in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored—Alvarez 1-0, Kela 1-0. WP—Harris. Umpires—Home, Pat Hoberg; First, Rob Drake; Second, Tony Randazzo; Third, Gerry Davis. T—3:13. A—26,208 (42,060).

Rangers at Astros

7:10 p.m. Wed., FSSW, Root Sports

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