Those Rangers from Arlington showed they weren't ready to quit yet. Propelled by three home runs, they stomped Houston, 10-4, Thursday to prevent a sweep of their four-game series.
Marwin: Muy caliente
(c) Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle
You can bet the Rangers would be quite happy if they didn't see Marwin Gonzalez again. The ultimate utility player homered in all four games against the Rangers. He also set a modern day record with home runs in the starting lineup each game at a different position. Marwin now leads the Astros with nine on the season.
Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the four-run first set the pace for an early Arlington lead against rookie Joe Musgrove. The Astros retaliated with an infield single by Evan Gattis that plated Carlos Correa.
Marwin's solo shot came in the fourth off A.J. Griffin to shrink the deficit to 5-2. Houston chipped away but failed to score as often as they put candidates aboard. The Astros stranded 16 runners and were just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Musgrove and his bullpen were being just too generous to take back the lead. Finally, Joey Gallo and Elvis Andrus bashed home runs late to seal the win. Luke Gregerson had another awful appearance. Cold Hand Luke allowed three runs on four hits and Michael Feliz gave up a tack-on homer to surrender four runs in the final two innings.
Gonzalez was one of the few bright spots. Along with his homer, Marvelous Marwin launched a sacrifice fly in the seventh to get the Astros within two runs - the closest they could get all afternoon. Correa was the only Astro besides Gonzalez to produce more than one hit.
Dallas Keuchel (5-0), the AL Pitcher of the Month, will open a weekend series in Anaheim against the Angels on Friday night. Jesse Chavez (2-4) will be his unfortunate mound opponent. The first pitch is 9:07 Central time at the Big A. The Astros won 3-of-4 against the Halos late last month.
- Bob Hulsey