Do not adjust your sets. Both the Astros and Rangers had a pinkish hue to their wardrobes Sunday in honor of Mother's Day. While it looked disorientating to some, Dallas Keuchel quickly adjusted. After a rough beginning, the southpaw tossed seven shutout innings of three-hit ball with eight strikeouts as Houston won the weekend series over the Rangers, 6-1, to stay one game ahead of the Angels in the AL West. The Champs opened up a 6-4 lead in the race for the Silver Boot.
Big Pink Machine celebrates
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
Evan Gattis and Carlos Correa continued their hot weekends at the plate while Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel co-starred with two hits apiece and two runs scored.
A pair of three-run innings led Houston to victory. After Gurriel singled home Bregman in the third to open the scoring against losing pitcher Matt Moore, Gattis connected on a two-run bomb that exploded off his bat and sailed against the limestone beyond left-center.
In the seventh, the Astros had something of a repeat. Correa drilled a two-run shot to left-center with Bregman scoring ahead of him then Derek Fisher launched a sacrifice fly to plate Gurriel.
The Rangers' only run was a solo homer by Carlos Perez against Hector Rondon who needed Tony Sipp to bail him out of further trouble. Brad Peacock struck out the side in the ninth to end it.
Next up is a three-game visit to Anaheim before flying home to Houston to face the Indians and Giants. Lance McCullers (5-1) will pitch the 9:07 pm Central Monday beddy-bye opener against lefty Andrew Heaney (1-2).
Comparing the two squads is fascinating. 26-16 Houston is tied in the loss column with Anaheim (24-16). Although the Astros have been underwhelming at home (12-10), the Angels are even worse (10-12). Both teams have scored an identical 202 runs this year but the Angels have allowed 57 more runs than Houston in two fewer games. While Anaheim is right on track with their Pythagorean record, the Astros *ought* to be 31-11 based on run differential.
Therein is your tale of the tape. One's underperforming while the other is producing what is expected of them.
- Bob Hulsey