Playing Notes: Houston Astros 4, Texas Rangers 2
TEXAS lost 3 games in a row, including the last 2 Gs of the weekend series against DET (1-2) and tonight’s series opener against HOU (0-1 + 2 Gs)…marks the 1st time to lose 3+ straight games at Globe Life Field since worst 7-game home slip of the season 7/14-8/3…both runs scored tonight via solo homers by 8th (Ezequiel Duran ) and 9th (Bubba Thompson) batters in the starting lineup, the 1st time Texas has had all of their runs come from HR solo by the 8th and 9th batters since 9/1/13 against MIN (Moreland/Pierzynski )…batters have homered in 8 consecutive Gs (17 total HRs), incl. 2+ HR in 2 straights and 5 of the last 6 Gs.
DANE DUNNING suffered his 7th loss of the season (now 3-7) despite just 3 R-2 ER in 5.0 innings, snapping an 8-start unbeaten streak that dated back to early July…put out 5 batters tonight, setting a new single-season career high for strikeouts at 117 (up from 114 in 2021)… Dunning on 5 starts in August: 2-1, 3.62 ERA (11 ER/27.2 IP ), 24 SO/10 BB, 3 HR allowed, and .235 op. BA.
BUBBA THOMPSON connected for a 433-foot solo home run against Framber Valdez in the 3rd inning, his 1st career Major League home run… produced a career-high 107.8 mph exit speed on the HR (Statcast), which was the first long pitch Valdez had allowed in 4 starts against Texas this season… added a bunt single in the 5th and hit 11 of his last 13 Gs with at least one board appearance at .318 (14-44) to boost his BA season from .200 to .275.
EZEQUIEL DURAN roped in a solo home run (bike out at 109.6 mph.) into the visitor’s bullpen at left center in the 5th inning, pulling Texas into a tie run (3-2) after the team faced and early 3-0 deficit… Duran hit 2 HR in his last 4 Gs after combining to hit 3 HR on his first 46 Gs in the big leagues as 3 of his last 5 hits went for extra bases (2 HR, 2B)… Duran is batting .260 (19-73) with 6 XBH (3 HR, 3 2B) over his last 19 Gs (8/4 start).
ADOLIS GARCIA recorded a pair of singles to extend his career-best 25-game on-base streak, matching the longest such streak by a Ranger in the past 2 seasons (also Lowe, 25 G from 4/17-13/ 05/21)…has hits in 24 of his last 25 Gs (8/3 start) at .314 (32-102), including career-best 23 Gs streak from 8/3-27 that was the longest by an American League batter this season… García over 38 Gs since the All-Star break: .307/.358/.487/.845 (46-150).
HOUSTON improved its American League record to 83-47 (.638), which is tied with the 2019 team for the best record in club history in 130 games… went 11-4 against Texas in 2022 and 6-2 at Arlington, winning 5 of last 6 overall.
FRAMBER VALDEZ recorded his 22nd consecutive quality start, which is a Houston franchise record… he is only the 4th pitcher in MLB history to post 22 consecutive quality starts in a single season… this complete list: RHP Jacob deGrom (24 in a row in 2018), RHP Bob Gibson (22 in a row in 1968), RHP Chris Carpenter (22 in a row in 2005) and Valdez in 2022… with his quality start tonight, Valdez has the longest quality starting streak by a left-handed pitcher in MLB history, surpassing Johan Santana (21 straight in 2004)…allowed 2 home runs for the 1st time since 10/1/21 against OAK and only the 7th time from his career after entering tonight with only one HR allowed in the previous 8 starts and only 7 allowed for the season…went 6-0 in his last 7 starts.
JOSE ALTUVE started the game with his 30th double of the season and hit his 22nd home run in the 3rd inning… this is the 8th time in Altuve’s career to have 30+ doubles in a season, 3rd most number of such seasons in Houston franchise history behind Craig Biggio (14) and Jeff Bagwell (10).
JEREMY PENA went 3 for 5 with 3 singles after coming in tonight with 3 hits in his previous 7 games (3 for 22)…has 7 games with 3+ hits this season, 3rd most among the Astros behind Altuve/Alvarez (10) and tied with Gurriel (7).
VARIOUS: Tonight Angel Hernandez worked at home plate for the first time for a Rangers game since 9/17/19 at HOU (4-1 TEX loss)…the Astros announced that RHP Cristian Javier will start the CT Series Final of tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.… Framber Valdez (2 HR cleared tonight) entered today with only one HR cleared in 11 G/8 GS (52.1 IP) against TEX in his career (A. García, 8/28/21 at TEX)…Texas struck out 10 times without working a single walk tonight, 6th time this season to have 10+ SO and zero BBs in a game (last 13 SO/0 BBs on 7/28 at LAA).