Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez uncorked a wild 94.9 mph sinker in the top of the seventh, sending Corey Seager home and eventually sending the Rangers to a 4-3 win, snapping Texas’ nine-game losing streak.
The Rangers built a 3-0 lead in the top of the second when Ezequiel Duran doubled, plating Mark Mathias and Leody Taveras, before Sam Huff – called up from AAA Round Rock – singled past second base to score Duran.
The Astros whittled away the lead over the subsequent three frames, scoring single runs against Texas starting pitcher Glenn Otto in the second, third, and fourth innings to knot the game at three halfway through the contest.
“I’m just trying to be as efficient as possible, but I threw a lot of pitches and got into a lot of deep counts,” Otto told MLB.com after his outing. “Just some wasted pitches here and there.”
“I felt like he grinded,” Rangers skipper Tony Beasley countered. “And each one of [the relief pitchers] was outstanding.”
Otto lasted four innings in the game, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while walking one and striking out five.
Taylor Hearn replaced Otto in the bottom of the fifth and lasted two innings on his way to the victory. Hearn allowed no runs on two hits and fanned two. The win pushes his record to 6-7 on the season while he lowered his ERA to 4.94 on the year.
With the victory, Texas inches closer to surpassing last season’s meager win total of 60 as the win pushes their record to 59-76 on the year, good for fourth place in the AL West as Anaheim slips into third place with a record of 60-76.
With a win on Wednesday against the Astros, Texas could take their first series of the year against Houston (87-19, first in the AL West).
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday, with Rangers rookie Cole Ragans (0-2, 4.42) looking for his first career win against Cristian Javier (8-9, 3.07) tossing for Houston.