The Rangers finally won a game started by Cole Hamels. I know, I can't believe it myself. It had been so long. The last two times the Rangers lost a baseball game had been in games where Hamels took the mound. But Hamels gutted out seven innings where his only blemish came on a two-run home run by Carlos Gomez in the 2nd.
Thanks to a solo home run by Bobby Wilson to tie the game in the 5th and a huge two-run dong by Ian Desmond in the 8th, the Rangers have now won a season-high five straight and have moved their record to a franchise best 36-22 after 58 games. Only the 2013 Rangers can share in the claim.
The loss is pinned on the reigning Cy Young award winner and you have to guess Dallas Keuchel was pitching with some purpose to back up the "go out there and put them in ground" quotes from Ken Giles after last night's defeat. You have to imagine that this is the feeling everyone in the visiting clubhouse had going out there tonight.
Keuchel probably pitched better than Hamels overall tonight. Keuchel went 7 1/3 innings without walking anyone while striking out eight Rangers. He did allow ten Rangers hits including the final three Ranger hitters he faced. Perhaps it was a case of leaving the Astro ace in too long. Whatever the case, you can tell the Astros were going hard for this one tonight.
They even rallied for a run in the 9th off Sam Dyson but it wasn't enough. It's never enough for the Astros against the Rangers. The Rangers found a way to beat Houston once again to run their record to 8-0 against the Astros in 2016 and continue to shovel dirt on Sports Illustrated's preseason champs.
Player of the Game: Obviously Wilson and Desmond's blasts were huge but Ryan Rua drove in the first Rangers run in the 2nd with a double, went 2 for 4 overall and continued to show that he can be a winning piece for this team. Or, at the very least, a guy who torments left-handed pitching.
Up Next: The Rangers and Astros play the third game of this four game series with Yu Darvish making his third start of the season against RHP Doug Fister of Houston. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.