In a game where the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros scored all of the runs via home runs, the Rangers came out on top because Rougned Odor's dinger came with a runner on base while Tyler White's solo shot did not. That was the difference of this game.
Neither team was able to get runners in when they had them in scoring position -- a combined 2-23 in RISP situations -- but it's worth noting that the Astros ran themselves into two early double plays that kept them off the board as Cole Hamels settled in. In fact, the Astros were the victims of three double plays in the game as the Rangers added to their league-leading DP total of 21.
The Astros came up with creative ways of helping the Rangers stay out of trouble as Texas got a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out double play to end the 1st inning and a TOOTBLAN-assisted double play on a bases loaded flyout to right field in the 2nd. Evan Gattis grounded into a double play to end the 6th in a much more usual fashion.
Hamels struggled with his command as he hit the first two batters of the game and later hit Jose Altuve again in the 7th which ended his night. Hamels also walked three but was able to wiggle out of jams thanks in part to the double plays and his ability to get the strikeout when he needed it. All told, Hamels finished the night with 6 2/3 innings of five-hit, one run baseball with seven strikeouts on 106 pitches.
Sam Dyson cleaned up for Hamels to end the 7th with the tying run on third and then the trio of Dyson, Jake Diekman and Shawn Tolleson finished off the Astros in the 8th and 9th as the Rangers have their first three-game winning streak of the season.
The Astros have now lost nine straight games at The Ballpark. The last time the Astros won in Arlington was last April 12th in the game that George Springer robbed Leonys Martin of a game-winning grand slam in extra innings. They might have won that battle, but they're losing the war. The Astros are now 5-10 and four games back of Texas early in the year.
Player of the Game: Just in case any Astros fans stumble onto this post, here's Rougned Odor launching a dinger and continuing his mission of making everyone in Harris County hate him.
Up Next: The Rangers close out this series with the Astros tomorrow with No. 5 starter A.J. Griffin making the start for Texas against reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. Nevertheless, the Rangers will go for a sweep of Houston.