MLB

Wed, Sep 16, 2020
8:10 PM ET

Texas Rangers
vs.
Houston Astros

Odds / Picks  (Full Game)

Game Preview

Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros - MLB - Wed, Sep 16, 2020

Astros jockeying for playoff position as series with Rangers continuesThe return of second baseman Jose Altuve from the 10-day injured list Tuesday appeared to move the Houston Astros one step closer to being whole, but yet another malady was lurking.Shortstop Carlos Correa departed in the sixth inning of the Astros' 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park after fouling a pitch off his left ankle. Correa appeared in extreme distress and required help exiting the field following the play, but the Astros received a measure of positive news when subsequent tests revealed nothing more severe than a bone bruise.As for Altuve, he finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. The Astros (24-24) are locked in a battle for postseason positioning with just 12 games left in the regular season. Despite his struggles at the plate this season, having Altuve back in the lineup advances the Astros' cause."I think these games are very important as always," Altuve said. "We are trying to make the playoffs, we are in a good spot and the only thing I want is to contribute with the team and help them win."I think we have a lot of confidence. I think we know the kind of players we have and we've just got to go game by game and win one game at a time and I think we'll be fine." Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (3-2, 5.79 ERA) gets the start for Houston on Wednesday, his first following a trip to the 10-day injured list with neck nerve irritation. McCullers failed to record an out in his previous start and allowed three runs on two hits and three walks in a 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 4.It has been a rocky season for McCullers in his return from Tommy John surgery, a procedure that cost him the 2019 season. He is 1-4 with a 5.61 ERA over seven career starts against the Rangers including a 1-1 record and 4.22 ERA in 2018.Right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-5, 6.14 ERA) will make his 10th start Wednesday for Texas. He is 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA over his previous five starts, his ERA ballooning from 3.74 to the highest qualifying mark in the majors in that span. Gibson took the loss Thursday against the Angels when he allowed five runs on a season-high 10 hits plus three walks over 5 2/3 innings.Gibson is 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA over seven career starts against the Astros, including a 1-2 record and 3.05 ERA at Minute Maid Park. He last faced Houston on Sept. 3, 2018, allowing four runs over seven innings in a 4-1 loss with Minnesota.The Rangers (17-31) took a positive out of the resilient effort of rookie right-hander Kyle Cody, who surrendered the first home run of his career to Astros center fielder George Springer leading off the first inning and pitched around a bases-loaded, no-out pickle in the second.Cody allowed just the one run on four hits and two walks over three innings of work."I don't want him to struggle but he hadn't really had much adversity up to this point as a major leaguer," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "So to see that bases-loaded jam or even that homer to start the game, to see if that would snowball a little bit (was noteworthy). But he dialed it back in and got three outs."I think it's a good learning experience for him. He had to grind a bit, which is something he hadn't had to do in his previous outings." --Field Level Media

Preview provided by The Associated Press (AP)
© 2020 The Associated Press (AP)

Game Recap

Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros - MLB - Wed, Sep 16, 2020

Gibson throws 4-hitter as Rangers edge Astros 1-0HOUSTON Kyle Gibson threw a four-hitter and Joey Gallo hit a ground-rule RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Texas Rangers over the Houston Astros 1-0 on Wednesday night.It was the first career shutout for the 32-year-old Gibson and third complete game - his previous one came in August 2016 with Minnesota against Atlanta.Gibson (2-5) walked three and struck out a season-high nine to earn his first win since Aug. 15. He was 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA and eight homers allowed in his past five starts.The victory snapped a seven-game road skid for the Rangers, who are 5-18 away from home this season.Leody Taveras singled on a sharp grounder that first baseman Yuli Gurriel couldn't scoop up to start the ninth and advanced to second on a groundout by Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the second out.Gallo had two strikes when he connected off Ryan Pressly (1-3) for a line drive that bounced just inside the right field line to send Taveras home.Gibson struck out Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley in the ninth before a double by Alex Bregman. After a short mound visit, Gibson retired Kyle Tucker on a lineout to first to end the game. The players on the field and in the Rangers dugout began to cheer loudly after the final out, and Gibson jumped up and down and smiled.Gibson and Houston's Lance McCullers Jr. made this one a pitchers' duel for most of the night. McCullers pitched seven shutout innings in his return after a 10-day stint on the injured list with nerve irritation in his neck. He allowed two hits and struck out eight without a walk.McCullers allowed a double to Rougned Odor with two outs in the second before sailing through the next few innings, retiring 12 in a row before Taveras doubled with two outs in the sixth. But the right-hander got Willie Calhoun to pop out to end that inning and pitched a perfect seventh to end his night.Josh James took over for the eighth and allowed a two-out single to Ronald Guzman before striking out Jeff Mathis.Gibson struggled with control early and walked two of his first four batters. But he struck out Tucker to end the first inning as the first of six straight Astros he retired. Altuve singled with two outs in the third, but Gibson set down his next 11 batters before Tucker singled with one out in the seventh.Tucker was caught stealing and Gurriel lined out to end the frame. Gibson walked Martin Maldonado with two outs in the eighth before fanning George Springer.TRAINER'S ROOMAstros: Houston ace Justin Verlander threw to hitters for the first time since he was injured in the team's opener on July 24. Verlander, who has a strained right forearm, threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 to hitters in two simulated innings. ''He looked real good, especially for his first time out ... his control was good,'' manager Dusty Baker said. Baker hopes the Astros can get Verlander back before the end of the regular season. But he said they likely won't know what's next for the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner until they see how he feels after Wednesday's work. ... Third base coach Gary Pettis missed the game because of hip discomfort. First base coach Omar Lopez filled in for Pettis at third, and quality control coach Chris Speier was at first base.UP NEXTHouston left-hander Framber Valdez (3-3, 4.08 ERA) will face Jordan Lyles (1-4, 7.80) when the series wraps up Thursday night.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

Recap provided by The Associated Press (AP)
© 2020 The Associated Press (AP)

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