Abraham Toro slugged a go-ahead home run and Cristian Javier escaped a bases-loaded jam as the Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep of the visiting Texas Rangers with a 3-1 win on Sunday.
The Rangers finished 0-9 at Minute Maid Park this season and dropped their 12th consecutive game, tied for the second-longest losing skid in franchise history.
Texas did take its first lead since the first inning against Oakland on July 10, with center fielder Eli White smacking a home run, his sixth, to left field off Astros starter Zack Greinke with one out in the top of the fifth inning.
The advantage was short-lived. Toro turned on a 2-2 fastball from Rangers right-hander Dennis Santana (0-1) with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, driving the pitch 380 feet to right for a 2-1 lead.
An inning later, Kyle Tucker added a two-out single off left-hander Joely Rodriguez that scored Yordan Alvarez. Rodriguez walked Alvarez and Carlos Correa before the Tucker at-bat.
Greinke had retired 13 of 14 batters entering the seventh, with White the only batter to reach base. But Texas fashioned a threat to the Astros’ two-run lead as David Dahl (single), Curtis Terry (hit by pitch) and Charlie Culberson (walk) reached in succession with no outs. Javier entered and recorded a strikeout of White before getting Isiah Kiner-Falefa to ground into a double play.
Greinke (10-3) allowed one run on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six-plus innings. Javier pitched two hitless innings and Ryan Pressly worked the ninth for his 18th save.
Left-hander Taylor Hearn excelled in just his second start of the season for the Rangers, facing the minimum while completing one trip through the Houston lineup. Hearn issued a one-out walk to Michael Brantley in the first inning but induced an inning-ending double play from Alvarez.
Hearn fanned three consecutive batters during one stretch and the Astros squandered another baserunner when Brantley rolled into a double play after Jose Altuve singled off Rangers left-hander Brett Martin to open the fourth. It wasn’t until the fifth that Houston broke through.
Texas third baseman Brock Holt and manager Chris Woodward were ejected by plate umpire Tim Timmons in the top of the fifth just prior to the White home run for arguing balls and strikes.
–Field Level Media