Elvis Andrus: Astros rotation showed an edge
The Texas Rangers couldn’t get out of Houston fast enough.
The Astros, arguably the best team in the majors, took the Rangers to the woodshed over a four-game series at Minute Maid Park.
They outscored the Rangers 33-11 in the series, including 15-5 in the finale Sunday afternoon.
Houston dominated in every aspect of the game. The Astros outhit the Rangers 46 to 23. They hit 11 home runs to the Rangers’ four, including four on Sunday.
In the series, Astros pitchers struck out 52 and walked 11. Rangers’ pitchers struck out 29 and walked 15.
The Rangers (17-21) have lost five of their last six and eight of their last 11 and have fallen into last place in the American League West. They are a season-low four games below .500.
Meanwhile, the Astros have soared into a stranglehold on first place in the division, are a season-high 11 games above .500 and are a major league-best 16-4 at home.
“Each game kind of snowballed into the next,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “You can absolutely learn any time you play a good team or a bad team. You have to set your standards higher.
“Will you always get there, no. But when you take care of the baseball and execute pitches, you have quality at-bats, you don’t chase out of the strike zone, typically good things happen. You get outs, you get hits, you get on base. When you don’t do those things, you get exposed.”
George Springer was 5 for 5 with two home runs and four RBIs. He’s the first Astros player in history to have five hits and five runs scored in a game. Alex Bregman was 3 for 5 with two homers and five RBIs.
In addition to all of that, the Rangers were stifled by an Astros starting pitcher making his major league debut. Corbin Martin, a graduate of Cy-Ranch High School, northwest of the city, and a second round pick out of Texas A&M in the 2017 MLB draft, allowed two runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old walked one and struck out nine — the most ever against the Rangers in an MLB debut.
After an off day, the Rangers begin a three-game series Tuesday against the Royals in Kansas City, Mo.
Woodward seemed most disappointed in the Rangers’ four errors in the series, two each on Saturday and Sunday. They cost the Texas eight unearned runs, including five Sunday. The Astros had one in the series.
“You don’t make plays, one error leads to four runs. Those are the kinds of things good teams take advantage of and we are going to be one of those teams eventually,” he said. “We did it earlier this year. We got exposed this series because we didn’t play well the last couple of games.”