Bad News: Rangers thump Astros 8-1
Good News: Team will fly home Thursday

Gurriel injures right knee
(c) Associated Press

Day two for the Astros as the home team at Tropicana Field turned out pretty much the same as day one as the Rangers delivered another lopsided defeat. Andrew Cashner held Houston to one run on three hits over eight innings of outstanding work on the mound and the Rangers coasted to an 8-1 win.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the second when Yuli Gurriel doubled, advanced to third on a Brian McCann single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran. Unfortunately, Gurriel came down with a sore right knee between second and third. Gurriel would end up leaving the game a few innings later and should be considered day-to-day.

Cashner shut down the Astros offense the rest of the way, painting corners en route to six strikeouts -- all of which were rung up without a swing.

Dallas Keuchel was matching Cashner's effectiveness through the early innings, retiring the first ten batters before getting ambushed for six runs in the fourth inning. One-out hits by Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara put runners at second and third when Derek Fisher mysteriously threw the ball to third base on Mazara's "2-bagger." Keuchel then pitched around Adrian Beltre to load the bases.

A tough call on a 3-2 pitch to Joey Gallo walked in the tying run and that's when the wheels suddenly fell off. Carlos Gomez followed with a 2-run single and Mike Napoli launched a 3-run homer to make it 6-1. Keuchel would rebound to retire seven of the final eight batters he faced in a case of too little, to late for the Astros ace.

The Rangers tacked on a pair of runs in the ninth against Francisco Liriano. The Astros trade deadline acquisition continues to struggle out of the bullpen as he has given up multiple runs in consecutive outings.

The good news came earlier in the day when it was announced that the Astros will return home after Thursday afternoon's game. The players, coaches, and other team personnel will get some time to reunite with loved ones that have been dealing with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The New York Mets have graciously agreed to push Friday's game back a day and play a double-header on Saturday.

First things first as right-handers Collin McHugh and Nick Martinez square off at 12:10 CDT Wednesday in the finale of the displaced 3-game series at Tropicana Field. The Astros will be happy to put the month of August to bed and hope for better fortune as the calendar turns to September.

- Greg Thurston