MLB Game Preview - Astros v Rangers

 
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5
Final-10 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   10 R H E
Houston0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 591
Texas1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4112
4
  W: C. McHugh (4-0)   L: C. Martin (1-2)   S: K. Giles (12)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, July 4, 2018
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas  Attendance: 43,592

Astros hope to catch a break versus Rangers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

  1. The Astros dropped their last three games against the Rays after winning their first game of the series in Tampa Bay. This is Houston's fourth three-game losing streak of the season. The Astros are one of four teams (Braves, Red Sox, and Yankees) who have yet to lose four in a row in 2018.
  2. The Rangers won two of three against the White Sox and have gone 11-3 in their last 14 games. Since June 16, Texas leads MLB with 6.50 runs per game as well as leading the AL in batting average (.285) and on-base percentage (.372).
  3. Houston has won six straight against Texas and are 10-4 against the Rangers overall this season. With a sweep, the Astros would tie their 2017 record of most wins against the Rangers in a single season.
  4. Dallas Keuchel is 9-9 in 25 starts against the Rangers, accumulating 148 strikeouts, which ranks fourth among active pitchers. In Keuchel's most recent start against Texas he allowed five earned runs and 13 hits in 4.1 innings.
  5. Austin Biben-Dirkx will make his fifth start this season and third since spending the beginning of June in the minors. Since returning to the majors, Biben-Dirkx has allowed one run and seven hits in 11.2 innings compared to eight earned runs and 17 hits in 10.3 innings in his first two outings of the season.
  6. In Houston's last seven games Alex Bregman recorded 10 extra-base hits, 10 RBI and seven runs. He is the fifth Astro with such a span and the first since Morgan Ensberg recorded 10 extra-base hits, 13 RBI and 10 runs in a seven-game span in 2006.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/3/2018 thru 7/4/2018

Houston has arguably the best overall pitching staff in the major leagues but has run into a big problem because of injury.

The Astros are struggling to find someone to handle those standout pitchers after losing another catcher in their 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

The Astros will send right-hander Garrit Cole (9-2, 2.50 ERA) to the mound for the Independence Day, Lone Star State showdown at Globe Life Park in Arlington while the Rangers counter with left-hander Mike Minor (6-4, 4.64).

Houston's catching situation took a turn for the worst Tuesday when Max Stassi was forced from the game against Texas in the first inning after he was hit on the right wrist by a pitch.

Stassi's injury comes on the same day veteran catcher Brian McCann met with team medical director Dr. David Lintner ahead of having surgery on his right knee. The Astros placed McCann on the disabled list Tuesday with a sore right knee for the second time this season and recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Fresno.

Federowicz took over for Stassi, who entered Tuesday's game batting .255 with seven homers and 22 RBIs.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch wouldn't say what type of surgery McCann would undergo and when the procedure would take place, but admitted that the Astros without McCann, their front-line backstop, "for the foreseeable future."

"We don't know other than he's heading for surgery and we'll have a better timetable once he sees Dr. Lintner and goes through the medical process," Hinch told mlb.com. "We had a long conversation in Tampa (over the weekend), and it's continually the same issue over and over with his right knee. One of the options is surgery, and he went back to Houston to take care of it."

Texas right-handed reliever Chris Martin was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday prior to the club's series opener against the Astros. The move made room on the 25-man roster for first baseman Ronald Guzman, who returned from the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Martin's demotion was to create bench depth

"Chris hadn't done anything to warrant being optioned," Banister said. "He's got options. Obviously, he's pitched well for us in the bullpen. However, you've got to be able to protect some of the other players on the team, too."

Banister told mlb.com that Guzman passed the concussion protocol three days after he was placed on the disabled list. "Ronals was a full-go, as far as baseball activities are concerned," he said.

The Astros have shuffled their rotation for this week to give Lance McCullers, Jr. and Charlie Morton some additional rest. McCullers was originally scheduled to start Wednesday against the Rangers.

Cole makes his first start in July after going 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA in six June starts, posting a 1.11 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 37 innings. The Astros are 14-3 in games started by Cole, who is looking to reach double digits in wins.

Minor has been one of the Rangers' best starters of late. He was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four June starts. Minor is 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA in nine home starts this season.

Minor is 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA in nine games (six starts) versus Houston, including 0-1, 5.74 in three starts this season.

Cole is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts against Texas, including 2-0, 1.80 in three turns this year.

Updated July 4, 2018

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