Eleven days had passed since Mike Minor last pitched on July 2 with the Rangers deciding extra rest and no appearance in the All-Star Game was best for him and, well, the plan didn’t exactly go off without a hitch as Minor certainly seemed rusty in his second half debut as he allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in just five innings and 92 pitches.
The Astros were hitting the ball hard off Minor pretty much from start to finish and it likely could have been worse had he not started collecting strikeouts later on in his outing. Minor finished with seven Ks but the four runs allowed were the most for Minor since a late-April start in Oakland.
Luckily for the Rangers, while their top starter was trying to find his form, the Astros were looking dreadful in the field as they committed three errors leading to two unearned Rangers runs. Of course, not to be outdone, in a pivotal moment in the top of the sixth, Logan Forsythe booted a likely inning-ending double play that allowed a then go-ahead Houston run to score.
Texas was only able to muster six hits total but were backed by three solo home runs with two coming off the bats of Shin-Soo Choo and Danny Santana back-to-back to lead off the contest, while Delino DeShields’ blast tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.
The battle lasted until the eleventh inning when the Astros finally broke through with a couple of runs off Brett Martin and a rally in the bottom of the inning ended a run short.
Player of the Game: Shin-Soo Choo opened tonight’s game with a home run just like he did last night as his ability to lead off innings with success remains uncanny even as he turned 37 years old today. Choo was also hit by a pitch because he’s still Shin-Soo Choo. Happy birthday, Shin-Soo!
Up Next: The Rangers and Astros close out this set on Sunday with the Rangers still looking to pick up the series win with Houston aiming to for a split. RHP Ariel Jurado will make the start for Texas against RHP Justin Verlander for Houston. First pitch from Arlington is scheduled for 2:05 pm CT.