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Astros, Luis Garcia look for series win over Rangers

Jun 10, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia (77) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will square off on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington, Texas, in the rubber game of a three-game series after each produced late-inning magic to win over the previous two nights.

The Astros will send right-hander Luis Garcia (3-5, 3.60 ERA) to the mound, while the Rangers had yet to name a starter as of late Tuesday night.

It’s been either feast or famine of late for the Astros, but it was the former on Tuesday in a 4-3, come-from-behind win. Houston was held scoreless on two hits through the first seven innings before erupting for four runs on three hits in the eighth to erase a 3-0 deficit.

Kyle Tucker had the decisive hit, a two-run home run, extending his hitting streak to career-best 13 games.

“I’m happy with it,” Tucker said. “We ended up getting four runs right there, and that was a big part of why we won. We just keep coming out here every day trying to put as many good ABs together as we can to put as much pressure on them to hopefully make them make mistakes. Tonight it worked out.”

Houston had just five hits in the game, two by Michael Brantley. The victory came a day after the Astros had only seven hits — none after the third inning — in a 5-3 loss to Texas.

The Astros captured their second win in the past three games but just their fourth in the past 10 contests.

Houston is in the midst of a stretch of games against teams with losing records, a sequence that began on May 13. After the series finale against Texas on Wednesday and three weekend contests at home against the sub-.500 Chicago White Sox, the Astros finally will meet a winning team on June 21 when then host the New York Mets.

Garcia is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four career games (two starts) against the Rangers. He has lost his four most recent decisions overall and hasn’t won since May 12.

Texas earned the Monday victory when it scored three runs in the eighth and got strong performances from its beleaguered bullpen. The script was flipped on Tuesday, and the setback snapped the Rangers’ three-game winning streak.

“I wouldn’t say our margin for error in games is smaller,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said afterward. “It’s bigger than it was in the past couple years when I felt like we couldn’t make any mistakes. We had our chances to kind of add on and we didn’t, and then that proves costly.”

The Rangers wasted a season-best outing by starting pitcher Dane Dunning on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed no runs on two hits and four walks and a hit batter while striking out four in six innings.

Texas’ downfall began with a botched rundown in the eighth inning after shortstop Corey Seager chose to throw home to keep Jose Altuve from scoring rather than trying to turn a double play. Third baseman Ezequiel Duran failed to make a catch during the play, allowing Altuve to score, and then the floodgates opened.

“Probably (should have gone for the double play),” Woodward said. “(Seager) asked about it and admitted he probably should have done that. He was trying to be aggressive and make a play.”

–Field Level Media