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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston3 2 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 12120
Texas2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 452
  W: J. Verlander (11-4)   L: A. Jurado (5-5)
12:05 PM PT1:05 PM MT2:05 PM CT3:05 PM ET15:05 ET19:05 GMT3:05 12:05 PM MST2:05 PM EST2:35 PM VEN23:05 UAE2:05 PM CT, July 14, 2019
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas  Attendance: 27,916

Astros suddenly eyeing series split with Rangers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

  1. The Astros will make their final regular-season visit to Globe Life Park, where they've gone 42-57 all-time, including 2-4 this season. However, the Astros swept the teams' most recent meeting in Houston, outscoring the Rangers, 33-11, in a four-game set in Houston from May 9-12.
  2. Houston won seven of its last eight games to close out the first half with a 57-33 record, tied with the Yankees for the most wins in the AL. Astros starters have allowed a .279 opponent OBP so far this season, which would be the lowest mark in franchise history, besting the 1981 team (.282).
  3. After cutting their AL West deficit to just 4.5 games on the evening of June 28, the Rangers lost six of their last eight games and now trail the Astros by nine games. Rangers starters have posted a combined 6.03 ERA when pitching 6+ days after their last start, third highest in MLB -- only the Giants (6.56) and Mets (6.21) have been worse.
  4. Yuli Gurriel enters the second half on a five-game home run streak, tied with teammate Jose Altuve (April 8-13) for the longest streak in MLB this season. Only one Astros hitter has ever homered in six straight games -- Morgan Ensberg in April 2006.
  5. Since 2017, Joey Gallo has hit 11 home runs against Houston, tied with Oakland for his second most against any opponent in that span (Seattle, 13). Only Oakland's Khris Davis (12 HR) has hit more home runs against the Astros in that span.
  6. George Springer has 15 career home runs at Globe Life Park, his most at any visiting ballpark. His .931 OPS at the park ranks fourth among active players with at least 150 career plate appearances at Globe Life, behind only Mike Trout (1.081), Miguel Cabrera (1.071), and Nick Markakis (.972).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/11/2019 thru 7/14/2019
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

There were enough moments of ragged play Saturday to yield belief that the Astros would indeed suffer their third series loss in as many series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington this season, with errors both mental and physical undermining every attempt Houston made to advance.

Ultimately, however, the Astros overcame their own missteps, defeated the Rangers 7-6 in 11 innings, and set the stage for a win Sunday that would salvage a split of their four-game series. Houston committed three errors, all in the Rangers' two-run third inning, and had three runners eliminated on the basepaths -- playing a brand of baseball unbecoming a World Series contender.

Yet, there were enough clutch performances sprinkled throughout to keep the Astros afloat. Houston had struggled on the road recently and has scuffled at Globe Life Park all season, so its ability to turn the tables late and pull out an extra-inning win proved doubly satisfying. That it was Jose Altuve who struck the decisive blow with two outs in the 11th, producing an RBI double on an 0-2 pitch to complete his 30th career four-hit game, came as little surprise.

"This is a team that no matter how we're playing, we're going to go out there and play hard," Altuve told reporters. "In the season there are going to be ups and downs but we're going to keep believing in us. Thank God we won (Saturday); let's get another one (Sunday)."

Right-hander Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98 ERA) will start the series finale Sunday. Verlander, who started for the American League in the All-Star Game last Tuesday, has allowed at least one home run in each of his previous five starts and 12 total during that stretch, posting a 1-2 record and 4.91 ERA. He is 15-8 with a 2.79 ERA over 28 career starts against the Rangers, including a 2-0 mark and 2.50 ERA in three starts this season.

Right-hander Ariel Jurado (5-4, 4.23 ERA) will start for the Rangers as they attempt to win all three home series against Houston this season. Jurado had made eight consecutive starts, going 4-2 with a 5.24 ERA during that stretch, before appearing in relief on July 7 against the Minnesota Twins and working 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He is 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA over three career appearances (one start) against the Astros, appearing twice in relief against Houston this season and giving up four runs over 3 2/3 innings -- though all of the runs are unearned.

Not only do the Rangers stand poised to win the four-game weekend series with a victory Sunday, they could even the season series with the division-leading Astros at 7-7 with five games remaining, all at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

"It's huge," Rangers reliever Adrian Sampson said of the win Saturday after working 2 2/3 scoreless innings in the game. "Our goal was to sweep these guys. That's the goal every day, just to win every game. I think coming in (Sunday) it's going to be a huge day for us, a huge day for the organization."

--Field Level Media

Updated July 14, 2019

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