A national ESPN audience got to watch the Rangers exorcise a little bit of their Houston demons tonight with a scintillating blowout victory that gave Texas an early lead for the Silver Boot.
The Rangers and Astros traded zeroes for six innings until a fateful 7th inning. Finally up 2-0, Andrew Heaney and the Rangers outlasted Cy Young contender Framber Valdez but though they once had the bases loaded with no one out with a chance to put the game out of reach, after two outs without scoring more runs, Marcus Semien parked an 0-2 pitch into the Crawford Boxes for a grand slam to put Texas up 6-0.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of the inning, the Astros loaded the bases with no one out themselves but Will Smith came on and wiggled the Rangers out of the jam after just one run crossed the plate, including inducing a two-out Yordan Alvarez ground out.
Perhaps if this season ends up with Texas playing October baseball, we can look back on that inning as one that helped to propel the Rangers. For now, Texas begins their division slate with a series win.
Player of the Game: There was a lot to like from the Rangers tonight, as they eventually piled it on in the late innings, but the game changed on one pitch to Semien.
Up Next: The Rangers begin a series in Kansas City with RHP Jacob deGrom set for the opener for Texas opposite RHP Jordan Lyles for the Royals.
Monday evening’s first pitch from Kauffman Stadium is scheduled for 6:40 pm CT and will be aired on BS Southwest.