If the Houston Astros are heading into a two-game series against rival Texas with the idea that they’ll be able to push around the rebuilding Rangers and get back on track after three straight losses Josh Oliver Jersey , maybe it’s time to think again.
The Astros will send struggling left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 4.22 ERA) to the mound in the first game of the series on Tuesday at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas will counter with right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-1, 3.57).
Houston lost three straight games in Tampa Bay last weekend, including a 3-2 setback on Sunday, and dropped its first series since May 28-30 at Yankee Stadium.
The Astros were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and 0-for-14 in the series. Houston managed just seven runs in the four-game series — all on homers, including two solo shots Sunday by Evan Gattis.
It was the Astros’ fewest runs in a four-game series on the road since they scored five at Tropicana Field against the Rays in 2014.
“We didn’t do enough to win the game or the series,” Astros manager AJ Hinch told mlb.com. “We made some mental errors, we had some big moments that they executed some pitches. One-run games, a couple of losses this series, are tough to swallow. We’ll take it to the next city http://www.jacksonvillejaguarsteamonline.com/quincy-williams-ii-jersey , but this one sucks.”
The Rangers, meanwhile, have been as hot as the triple-digit temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Texas is 12-6 since the Astros swept a four-game series from them in Arlington on June 7-10 and have won a season-best five straight series, including taking two of three games last weekend at home against the White Sox.
Texas ended that series with a 10-5 loss on Sunday in which ace starter Cole Hamels struggled, allowing a season-high seven earned runs and nine hits, which matched his high for the year.
Hamels, who has been the constant subject of trade talks for the past month, said afterward that he was blocking out that talk and it had no effect on his performance.
“It’s not a big deal. It’s out of my control,” Hamels said. “I have to go and pitch, and hopefully that’ll be the last time I have to answer that question.”
Keuchel took a no-decision in his last start on June 27 against Toronto Ryquell Armstead Jersey , allowing six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of the Astros’ 7-6 comeback victory. He surrendered five runs in the first inning before settling in to pitch five scoreless innings.
Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner and a 2-time All-Star (2015, 2017), will make his 18th start of the season and third against the Rangers this year. He is 9-9 with a 4.03 ERA in 25 career games, all starts, against Texas and is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 17 1/3 innings versus the Rangers in 2018.
Keuchel has not been as successful this season as over the past four seasons but he’s still inducing a high ground ball rate and soft contact. He leads the AL in groundball to fly-ball ratio (2.64), while ranking third in soft contact percentage (23.1 percent).
Bibens-Dirkx will make his fifth start of the season and his first start against the Astros. He’s coming off a no-decision against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, when he allowed two hits and struck out six in five scoreless innings in a game that San Diego won 3-2. Bibens-Dirkx is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA at home this season.
Bibens-Dirkx was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock before his June 20 start against Kansas City for his second stint with Texas in 2018. He will be working on regular four days’ rest; the Rangers are 2-2 in his four starts this season.
Kyle Gibson recovered from a rough start to throw seven innings, and Max Kepler homered in his second straight game to lead Minnesota past Baltimore 5-4 on Saturday.
Bobby Wilson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Twins, who won their third in a row.
Gibson (3-6) allowed three runs in the first inning – including a two-run homer by Chris Davis – but only gave up two hits after that while striking out nine. It was Gibson’s highest strikeout total since fanning 10 batters on April 26 against the New York Yankees.
Kepler’s solo shot off Kevin Gausman sparked a three-run fifth that tied it. Wilson’s two-run double off Miguel Castro (2-5) in the sixth gave Minnesota the lead for good.
The team with baseball’s worst record Will Harris Jersey , meanwhile, lost its fifth in the row.
Trevor Hildenberger worked a scoreless eighth for the Twins. Jace Peterson’s RBI double off Fernando Rodney pulled the Orioles to 5-4, but Rodney got Tim Beckham on a grounder to short to convert his 19th save in 24 chances.
CUBS 8, REDS 7
CHICAGO – Javier Baez homered and had four hits – including a game-tying infield single in the eighth – and Chicago rallied from a five-run deficit and over Cincinnati.
Anthony Rizzo’s RBI groundout capped a four-run eighth inning for Chicago, which has come from behind in each of its last eight wins.
Eugenio Suarez homered and Billy Hamilton added three hits and three stolen bases for Cincinnati, which had its five-game winning streak against the Cubs snapped.
Randy Rosario (4-0) allowed two hits in 2 1/3 innings to get the win. Brandon Marrow worked the ninth for his 20th save.
Jared Hughes (2-3) took the loss, part of three Reds relievers who allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings.
PHILLIES 3, PIRATES 2
PITTSBURGH – Nick Williams, Scott Kingery and Jorge Alfaro drove in runs on consecutive at-bats in the seventh inning to help Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh and extend the first-place Phillies‘ winning streak to six games.
Jake Arrieta (6-6) worked around six hits with the help of eight strikeouts to hold the Pirates to two runs over seven innings.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon (5-7) was charged with all three runs. He had allowed just two singles coming into the seventh. He struck out eight and walked none.
Starling Marte singled and scored in the first and homered in the second as part of a three-hit afternoon to stake the Pirates to an early lead.
Victor Arano worked around a leadoff double in the ninth for his second save.
CARDINALS 3, GIANTS 2
SAN FRANCISCO – Carlos Martinez pitched seven effective innings for his third consecutive win and St. Louis beat San Francisco.
Martinez (6-4) allowed one run on six hits with three strikeouts and did not walk a batter for the third time this season. The right-hander also drove in the Cardinals’ first run with an RBI double in the third.
Jordan Hicks allowed a run in the eighth and Bud Norris retired three batters for his 17th save.
Brandon Belt had three hits and drove in both runs for the Giants. San Francisco has been held to two runs or fewer in five of its last six games.
Jeff Samardzija had an uneven outing in his first start since May 29. Activated off the disabled list before the game http://www.lionsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-austin-bryant-jersey , Samardzija (1-5) gave up three runs in five innings and repeatedly pitched with runners on base.
BRAVES 5, BREWERS 1
MILWAUKEE – Anibal Sanchez pitched effectively into the seventh and Freddie Freeman added three hits, lifting slumping Atlanta over Milwaukee.
Sanchez (4-2) retired 19 in a row at one point to help snap Atlanta’s season high four-game skid. He exited with two outs in the seventh after being hit by a liner on his right hip.
Atlanta got to Brewers spot starter Aaron Wilkerson (0-1) early to end Milwaukee’s five-game winning streak. Wilkerson had taken the rotation turn of Brent Suter, who went on the 10-day disabled list with left forearm tightness on Friday.
Sanchez struck out six in a row at one point. But after two easy outs in the seventh, his day ended quickly following a walk to Hernan Perez.
TIGERS 7, RANGERS 2
DETROIT – Nicholas Castellanos homered as part of a seven-run first inning for Detroit, and the Tigers cruised past Texas.
Cole Hamels (4-8) retired only two batters for the Rangers in his shortest start since 2010, and Adrian Beltre had a home run taken away when Detroit’s JaCoby Jones made a spectacular catch in left-center field.
Mike Fiers (6-5) allowed a run and five hits in six innings. He struck out six with one walk.
Rougned Odor hit a solo homer for Texas immediately after Beltre was robbed by Jones. Shin-Soo Choo doubled twice for the Rangers to extend his on-base streak to 46 games, tying Julio Franco’s club record set in 1993.
Niko Goodrum had four hits for the Tigers.
YANKEES 8, BLUE JAYS 5
TORONTO – Luis Severino pitched five innings to earn his major league-leading 14th win Rashan Gary Jersey , Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge each hit solo home runs, and New York beat Toronto.
Severino (14-2) won his fifth straight start, allowing three runs and five hits. Two of the hits were home runs, marking the first time this season that Severino has allowed more than one homer in a game. He has allowed three earned runs or less in 16 consecutive starts.
Jonathan Holder, David Robertson, Dellin Betances each worked one inning and Aroldis Chapman got the first out of the ninth before leaving with an apparent injury. Chasen Shreve finished for New York, giving up a solo homer to Aledmys Diaz.
J.A. Happ (10-5), a potential trade target for the Yankees, had a dreadful audi