(Sports Network) – The Texas Rangers are set for their home opener on Friday
afternoon as they welcome the Houston Astros to Globe Life Park in Arlington
for the start of a three-game set.
Houston opened its season with a 2-0 shutout win over Cleveland but then lost
the next two games of the series.
In Thursday’s 5-1 loss, the Astros were two outs away from becoming the first
team to go hitless against the Indians in 34 years. Jed Lowrie broke that up
with a homer off Cleveland’s fourth pitcher, Nick Hagadone, in the ninth
“The scoreboard is way too big not to know that you’re being no-hit,” said
Lowrie. “It’s a weight lifted off the whole dugout, the whole team. Hopefully,
it was good for morale.”
The Astros drew five walks against Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer, although
they also struck out 11 times. Asher Wojciechowski (0-1) gave up four runs on
eight hits and walked two over four-plus innings in his major league debut for
Texas split a four-game series in Oakland to kick off its 2015 campaign. The
two losses were by a combined 18-0 margin, while the two wins were by a 13-2
outcome the other way. The Rangers left the Bay Area Thursday afternoon with a
10-1 victory behind four home runs.
Adrian Beltre accounted for one of those homers, from one knee in the batter’s
box. The others came off the bats of Mitch Moreland, Shin-Soo Choo, and
Rougned Odor, as the Texas lineup piled up 12 hits.
“That’s the type of stuff we’re looking for from our hitters,” Rangers manager
Jeff Banister said. “We’re looking for that synergy of how well they work
together. It played well today.”
Right-hander Nick Martinez held the A’s to just four hits over a career-high-
tying seven scoreless innings in the win.
Right-hander Collin McHugh will toe the rubber for Houston in Friday’s opener.
He has won seven straight dating back to August of last season and posted a
1.77 ERA over his last 10 starts of 2014. McHugh is looking to become the
first Astros pitcher to win eight in a row since Roy Oswalt won nine straight
McHugh posted a 3.98 ERA in 20 1/3 innings across six spring training starts,
fanning 22 batters and walking only five. Last year, he notched 157 strikeouts
in 154 2/3 innings to go with a 1.02 WHIP.
For Texas, Derek Holland gets the nod in his return from knee surgery. The
left-hander finished the 2014 season strong and was victorious in his only
start against the Astros last year, giving up two earned runs in seven innings
in Arlington. Holland is 3-1 all-time against Houston.
Both clubs are led by new managers this season; Banister for the Rangers and
A.J. Hinch for the Astros. In what is known as the Lone Star Series, the
Astros went 11-8 against the Rangers last year to reclaim the Silver Boot.
Houston had won just two of 19 meetings in 2013, the first year the two teams
were both in the American League West.