Astro Bats Silenced By Bartolo Colon, Rangers

Astros fall to Rangers in extra innings, drop series

April 15, 2018 - 11:52 pm
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A battle between two former Cy Young award winners broke out at Minute Maid Park Sunday night. 

However, that was before the Rangers broke out the bats in the 10th inning to top the Astros 3-1. 

The Rangers won the series 2-1, handing the Astros their fourth loss in 5 games. 

Astro reliever Hector Rondon, on the mound for the Astros in the 10th, and almost in the blink of an eye, found himself in all kinds of trouble.

Allowing a leadoff single to Joey Gallo,  then a ground rule double to Ronald Guzman, Robinson Chirinos took Rondon's fastball to deep center, driving in both Gallo and Guzman to put the Rangers ahead for good. 

Astros manager AJ Hinch said "Gallo timed up a 96 mile per hour fastball, then Guzman got one about 6-8 inches inside the line, then your under duress. Rondon has been really good, but the mistake to Chirinos...we didn't put him away whenever we had any sort of opportunity to do that," Hinch said. 

You would have never known that at one point, a good old fashioned pitchers duel dominated the evening. 

The Rangers 44-year old Bartolo Colon looked as good as he ever has while Justin Verlander continued his tremendous run with the Astros. 

Verlander set down the first 6 batters he faced in the ballgame, but was taken deep in the third inning by Robinson Chirinos, who clobbered his 2nd homerun of the series to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. 

That's all the Rangers would need it seemed as Colon dazzled Astro hitters for 7 2/3 innings Sunday night at Minute Maid Park, supplying a steady dose of 2-seam fastballs that evaded and left hitters shaking their heads. 

After giving up the homerun to Chirinos in the 3rd, and watching Colon dominate Astro hitters, Verlander knew he had to be perfect the rest of the way.

"Just keep pitching. You're kind of with the understanding that if you give up another run, the game is over," Verlander said. 

Verlander finished his evening after 8 innings, allowing just the solo homer to Chirinos, while striking out 11. 

Colon took a perfect game into the 8th inning, but a patient Carlos Correa was able to work a leadoff walk and give the Astros their first baseruner of the night, spoiling Colon's perfection. Soon after, Astros right-fielder Josh Reddick took a 2-seam fastball to right field for his first double of the season, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs.


First baseman Yuli Gurriel, in just his third game back from a 5-game ban and stint on the DL, scored Correa on a sac fly to centerfield ough toscore Correa and tie the game up at a run apiece. 

Colon woud exit after getting Marwin Gonzalez to fly out to right for the innings second out, but that's all the damage the Astros could muster in the 8th. 

The Astros threatened in the 9th inning. 

George Springer worked a 1-out walk, advanced to 2nd on Jose Altuve's shallow single to left, but Rangers reliever Keone Kela got Correa to fly out to center to end the inning. 

Up next for the Astros: The Astros head to Seattle to begin a 7-game road trip, with the first of four in Seattle Monday evening against the Mariners before heading to Chicago for a 3-game series with the White Sox. 

Notes:

Justin Verlander struck out 11 more batters Sunday night, passing Jaimie Moyer and Andy Pettitte to move into sole possession of 38th place on the all-time strikeout list with 2,450 in his 14-year career. 

Bartolo Colon struck out 7 Astros Sunday night. The most strikeouts he's recorded in a game since striking out 8 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in August 2016. 

 

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