Saturday, June 9, 2018 07:15 PM (ET)

Rangers strand 17, Astros win despite team-record 5 hit batters

Field Level Media
Jun 9, 2018
George Springer delivered a go-ahead, two-out RBI single in the seventh inning and the Houston Astros survived a historic bout of wildness to defeat the Texas Rangers 4-3 on Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Springer snapped a 3-all tie with his sinking line drive to left field off Rangers right-hander Jose Leclerc (1-2), scoring Max Stassi from second base. Texas left fielder Joey Gallo played the hit off the short hop, a prudent decision that prevented Tony Kemp from scoring behind Stassi.

The Astros (41-25) led 2-0 and 3-2 before surrendering each advantage. Right-hander Charlie Morton struggled mightily commanding his offerings, issuing season highs in walks (six) and hit batsmen (four) over 3 2/3 laborious innings. Morton allowed only one hit, but the constant traffic resulted in an abbreviated outing, with Morton departing after 87 pitches.

What proved pivotal for Texas was an inability to deliver with runners on base. The Rangers (27-40) went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and stranded 17 baserunners total. Such ineffective clutch hitting enabled Morton to leave with the score tied at 2-2 and Brad Peacock to allow three hits, one walk, and one hit batter over his 1 2/3 innings of relief, but surrender only one run -- Ronald Guzman's single to plate Rougned Odor in the fifth.

With two runners on and one out in the ninth, pinch-hitter Adrian Beltre grounded into a 5-4-3 double play against Astros right-hander Hector Rondon, who recorded his second save.

The five hit batsmen by Astros pitchers set a club record. Despite that dubious distinction, Houston can complete a sweep of the four-game series with a victory on Sunday.

Texas left-hander Mike Minor worked six innings, overcoming a wobbly start. Two batters into the game Houston led 1-0 when Alex Bregman followed a Springer walk with a double to left. Yuli Gurriel, celebrating his 34th birthday, added a single that scored Bregman and upped the lead to 2-0. Stassi clubbed his sixth homer in the fifth to push the Astros back in front 3-2.

Minor allowed three runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts. Left-hander Tony Sipp (1-0) notched the win for the Astros with a scoreless inning of relief, including three strikeouts.

--Field Level Media

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