The Astros’ starting pitcher shut down the Rangers’ bats for the second straight game and won game four of a quad-game set by a 5-2 tally on May 22.
On May 21, Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings to win over the Rangers. The Astros’ starting pitching staff leads the American League in innings pitched (228 1/3) and has the lowest ERA (2.96).
On May 22, Astros starter José Urquidy helped lower the team ERA after he tossed 6.2 innings against Texas, allowing one earned run on six hits while walking one and fanning 10.
“My confidence was good,” Urquidy told MLB.com after the outing. “When I have a lead early in the game, it gives me more confidence, and I keep the same rhythm.”
After defeating the Astros 3-0 on May 20, the Rangers only managed to score three runs in the next two contests. The loss on Sunday drops the team record to 18-22, placing them eight games back of Houston in the AL West standings.
Taylor Hearn was on the rubber for the Rangers on the day, and he pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits while walking and striking out two. In the loss, Hearn sees his season ERA balloon to 5.77 and his record fall to 2-3 on the year.
Following Hearn to the hill out of the bullpen were Brett Martin, Matt Bush, John King, and Matt Moore. They stitched together 4.1 innings, allowing two hits, one run (Moore), and walking and striking out three. The bullpen kept Texas in the game, but the offense could not muster much run support.
The Rangers outhit the Astros by a 9-8 clip but were down 3-1 when Urquidy was yanked in the top of the sixth, and the Houston bullpen allowed just one earned run on three hits in relief.
Brad Miller was the offensive highlight in the loss for the Rangers as he went 3-for-4 with one RBI. Mitch Garver swatted his fourth homer of the season to account for the other Texas run.
The Astros took the series 3-1 with the win.
Next up for Texas is a two-game tilt with the Angels starting May 24 before heading to Oakland for a four-game stand against the Athletics.
Projected starting pitchers for the May 24 contest against Anaheim are Dane Dunning (1-2, 3.92) against Noah Syndergaard (3-2, 3.60). The start time for the game is 8:38 p.m.