MLB Game Preview - Rangers v Astros

 
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1
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Texas0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 120
Houston0 0 2 0 3 1 0 0 x 6110
6
  W: J. Urquidy (1-0)   L: A. Jurado (5-6)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, July 20, 2019
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 41,643

Astros call up pitching help to face Rangers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

  1. The Rangers have allowed 55 runs over their last five games, the most the team has ever allowed over any five-game span in franchise history. The only other team in MLB to allow 55+ runs over any five-game span in 2019 is Colorado, who allowed exactly 55 runs from July 13-16 (all games played at Coors).
  2. Houston is 4-4 in its last eight games, splitting two four-game series on the road against the Rangers and the Angels. Houston is 30-11 against AL West teams this season, including a 12-1 mark at home.
  3. In 26 career games, Yordan Alvarez has 34 hits and 31 RBI. Since RBI became official in 1920, only three other players have recorded 30+ hits and 30+ RBI through as many games: Jim Greengrass (1952-53), Zeke Bonura (1934) and Mandy Brooks (1925).
  4. Danny Santana hit two home runs in the Rangers' most recent game, a 19-4 loss against Arizona. Santana has 13 HR in 249 plate appearances this season, equaling his career total entering this season across five seasons and 1165 plate appearances.
  5. Through 20 starts this season, Justin Verlander has a 0.81 WHIP and a .169 opponent batting average. The last two pitchers to have a sub-0.85 WHIP and a sub-.170 opponent batting average through 20 starts in a season were Pedro Martinez in 2000 and Luis Tiant in 1968.
  6. Mike Minor allowed four earned runs in 5.0 innings when these teams faced off last Saturday. Minor allowed three base-hits with runners in scoring position in that start -- in his six prior starts, Minor limited opponents to two combined hits with RISP in 41.1 IP.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/19/2019 thru 7/21/2019

With the Astros attempting to piecemeal their way through a short-handed rotation, one that continues to tax their deep but overworked bullpen, Houston manager A.J. Hinch will continue to savor those moments when the high-wire act yields favorable results.

Hinch used "openers" to start two of the four games the Astros played against the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week, and until the Astros either trade for starting pitching or get right-hander Brad Peacock off the 10-day injured list, the strain will continue to rest on the Houston relievers.

When right-hander Justin Verlander took his turn in the rotation Friday, he served as the only regular starter scheduled to do so against the Rangers. So after Verlander and a three-man bullpen held Texas to 0-for-11 hitting with runners in scoring position in a 4-3 win in the opener of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park, the result felt like a resounding positive.

"I've had to answer a lot of questions the last couple weeks about opportunities missed," Hinch said. "When you're on the other side of it and you eliminate the opportunities, it feels pretty good."

Right-hander Jose Urquidy (0-0, 10.50 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to start for the Astros Saturday. He delivered two spot starts earlier this month, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings at Colorado on July 2 before surrendering five runs on eight hits while recording seven outs against the Los Angeles Angels five days later at Minute Maid Park. Houston won both games in slugfests, defeating the Rockies 9-8 and topping the Angels 11-10. Urquidy is 5-4 with a 4.08 ERA over 16 appearances (14 starts) across two levels in the minors this season.

Right-hander Ariel Jurado (5-5, 4.63 ERA) will start for the Rangers. He has dropped both of his starts this month, allowing 11 earned runs over 10 innings. Jurado will be working on extended rest after suffering a 12-4 loss to the Astros on July 14. He is 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA over four career appearances (two starts) against the Astros, including his first career victory on July 28, 2018, when he allowed one run on two hits over six innings in a 7-3 win at Minute Maid Park.

If All-Star left-hander Mike Minor made his final appearance in a Texas uniform Friday, he did so showcasing the form that makes him attractive to postseason hopefuls. After surrendering four solo home runs three batters into the third inning, he locked in and retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced. Minor finished with 10 strikeouts, including fanning the side in his final inning of work, the seventh. He allowed one walk and flashed the dominance that earned him his first All-Star nod in his eighth season.

As Minor plied his trade, there were reports that the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies were interested in his services. For Minor, whose 6.0 bWAR led all American League pitchers entering play Friday, what comes next won't alter his preparation for his next start.

"If it happens, it happens," Minor said. "It's there, but it's more about staying in my routine and keeping on pitching. I see it, you guys (the media) talk about it, but I've got to do my best to keep it in the clubhouse. I'm trying to do a job."

--Field Level Media

Updated July 20, 2019

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