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July 16, 2019
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Rangers lose to Astros in extras

Rangers lose to Astros in extras

T.R. Sullivan

ARLINGTON — Starter Mike Minor went just five innings on Saturday night. That forced the Rangers to rely heavily on their bullpen, especially in a game that went 11 innings.
The Rangers almost pulled it off, as rookie left-hander Brett Martin was just one pitch away from a scoreless 11th

ARLINGTON — Starter Mike Minor went just five innings on Saturday night. That forced the Rangers to rely heavily on their bullpen, especially in a game that went 11 innings.

The Rangers almost pulled it off, as rookie left-hander Brett Martin was just one pitch away from a scoreless 11th inning. But he couldn’t put George Springer away. The Astros went on to score two runs and held on for a 7-6 victory at Globe Life Park.

Box score

The Rangers were down two in the bottom of the 11th inning and almost rallied against Astros closer Robert Osuna. A double by Nomar Mazara and a single by Delino DeShields made it a one-run game. The Rangers also had two on with two out before Osuna retired Tim Federowicz on a fly ball to left to end the game.

“It stinks,” DeShields said. “We are playing some tough games against a really good team the past two nights. Those guys are really good and you want to get all you can. They were the better team tonight. Our collective group and attitude is we never give up. No matter what the score is, we keep fighting. This was a tough loss but we’ll get them tomorrow.”

Minor certainly wasn’t happy with his performance. He was pitching on 10 days’ rest, which did not help his command. Minor went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven. Catcher Jeff Mathis and left fielder Joey Gallo both threw out runners on the basepaths to help pick up Minor before he left after throwing 92 pitches.

“I’ve pitched like [crap] the last two times,” said Minor, who went 4 1/3 innings in his last start before the break. “I feel like there are lapses in there in focus or something. I am not throwing the put-away pitch. I feel like I served them up a little bit tonight. I hate feeling like this, but I look forward to getting back out there.”

The 92 pitches were the third fewest Minor has thrown in 19 starts but manager Chris Woodward felt that was enough after his long layoff.

“He felt great,” Woodward said. “I guess he wasn’t as sharp. He felt really good, which is what we wanted to see. He had 10 days off, so I figured there would be a little bit of ‘less sharp’ from the time off. We wanted to keep him under 100 pitches. He had some grinder innings. I didn’t really like sending him back out.”

The Rangers hit three home runs on the night but had just six hits in all. They were trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the first when Shin-Soo Choo and Danny Santana led off with back-to-back home runs to tie the game off Astros starter Wade Miley. The Rangers trailed 5-4 in the seventh when DeShields tied the game with a one-out home run off Miley.

The Rangers used five relievers after Minor. The Astros scored one off Phillips Valdez in the sixth inning before Adrian Sampson, Chris Martin and Brett Martin combined for four scoreless. That took it into the 11th, and Brett Martin went back out for a second inning.

Martin retired the first two hitters and got ahead 0-2 on Springer, who was then able to barely foul off a 1-2 slider and worked a walk to keep the inning alive.

“I think that was the best pitch I threw all night and he got a piece of it,” Martin said.

Martin then went ahead 0-2 on Jose Altuve and couldn’t put him away either. Altuve lined a double into the left-center gap. Gallo cut the ball off, but the Rangers couldn’t get it back quickly enough to stop Springer scoring from first base.

The Rangers then walked Alex Bregman intentionally, but Myles Straw singled to right to give the Astros a two-run lead. Left-hander Jesse Biddle had to finish the inning.

“I thought Brett did a really good job,” Woodward said. “It just shows you with two outs, nobody on base, one check swing, Springer stays alive and it allows that inning to continue on. It’s something our guys do. We asked a lot of our guys today and a lot of guys stepped up and kept the game where it was. The job our bullpen did was incredible.”

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.



https://www.mlb.com/rangers/news/rangers-lose-to-astros-in-extras

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