Astros Whack Perez, Rangers 7-5

Astros Whack Perez, Rangers 7-5
Astros teammates congratulate Aledmys Díaz after his grand slam tied the score during the fourth inning against the Rangers. | Image by Houston Chronicle

Texas dropped the ball Tuesday night, 7-5, against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Martín Pérez, the Rangers’ star pitcher who hadn’t lost a game in 19 consecutive starts and had shut out the Astros on May 20, tossed a no-hitter through the first three innings before getting hammered by Houston in the subsequent three.

As Perez sailed through the first three frames unblemished, the Rangers gave their pitcher an early 4-0 lead, which he eventually squandered.

In the top of the first, Marcus Semien yanked a 3-0 José Urquidy 92.3 MPH four-seam fastball into the cheap seats in left field for an early 1-0 Texas lead, his 16th homer of the year.

In the third, Semien led off the inning with a walk. Two pitches later, Corey Seager homered a line drive to right-center field, his 25th bomb of the season, extending the Texas lead to 3-0.

Josh H. Smith was hit by a pitch to open the fourth frame and promptly stole second base for his third swipe of the season.

For his part, Bubba Thompson– called up from AAA Round Rock last week and who has since started five games– earned his first MLB RBI with a single to center, plating Smith and giving Texas a 4-0 lead through four innings.

Thompson– who set the stolen base record of 45 for the Round Rock Express before his call up to the big club– swiped his third base of the season after his first RBI but was stranded at second when the top of the fourth came to a close.

The bottom of the fourth saw Pérez collapse as the 31-year-old lefty was shellacked following one hit and three walks ahead of a grand slam by Aledmys Diaz that knotted the score at four.

Adolis Garcia lifted the Rangers back into the lead in the fifth with his 19th homer of the year, but Texas never scored again in the contest, though Thomas did give it one more good swing.

Pérez– whose tale of the tape in the loss included seven earned runs, three walks, and two K’s– was yanked heading into the bottom of the sixth trailing 7-5.

While the Rangers bullpen was once again masterful– José Leclerc tossed two innings of scoreless ball, and Brett Martin hurled another– the Rangers’ bats quieted.

Trailing by two, Thompson came to the dish in the top of the ninth and cracked a flyball deep to left field. It looked like he had belted his first big league homer. But as the ball reached the yellow line atop the outfield fence (separating a homer from a base hit), a fan reached over the wall and interfered with the ball’s trajectory.

The umpires ruled the hit a double. The play was reviewed, and the umps upheld their call on the field. Thompson was stranded on base while the next three Texas hitters went down 1-2-3 into the 7-5 loss.

The Rangers will have a chance at redemption tonight at 7:10 p.m. in game two of a three-game series with Houston.

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