The Texas Rangers will see plenty more of the Houston Astros in
the coming years after their intrastate rivals move to the AL West
Judging by how well the meetings have gone for the Rangers in
recent seasons, they’re likely looking forward to it.
Texas seeks another victory in the Lone Star Series when it
continues a three-game home set against Houston on Saturday
The Rangers have won 17 of the last 22 meetings with the Astros
following Friday’s 6-2, series-opening victory. This weekend marks
the final interleague series between the teams, as Houston will
shift from the NL Central next year in order to balance the two
AL West-leading Texas (38-27) started the weekend on a high note
despite missing Josh Hamilton, who was hospitalized for dehydration
caused by an intestinal virus.
Mitch Moreland homered and Elvis Andrus went 3 for 4. David
Murphy drove in two runs for the third straight game, going 6 for
11 in that stretch.
“It was a really good win,” Murphy told the Rangers’ official
website. “We took advantage of the mistakes and we had some
consecutively big at-bats up there and got things rolling.”
Manager Ron Washington said he doesn’t expect Hamilton to play
Saturday, when the offense looks to provide some run support for
Justin Grimm in his major league debut.
The Rangers’ fifth-round pick in 2010, Grimm is being promoted
from Double-A Frisco to help replace injured starters Alexi Ogando
and Derek Holland.
The 23-year-old right-hander was 8-3 with a Texas League-best
1.87 ERA in 13 starts and one relief appearance.
“In my opinion, I’m a power pitcher,” Grimm said. “I’ve got a
good fastball. It’s my go-to pitch. I’ve been able to command it
really well lately. I’m still continuing to develop a changeup, but
it comes sometimes and goes. Hopefully Saturday, it’s something
that I have. I’m definitely going to need it.”
The Astros (27-37) will look to take advantage of Grimm’s
inexperience in order to avoid a fourth loss in five games. Houston
has had eight or fewer hits in each of its last four contests,
including a perfect game by San Francisco’s Matt Cain on
Manager Brad Mills would like to see more aggressiveness at the
“There’s some extra steps we’re going to look at and talk to a
few guys about a few things, but at the same time, if the balls are
outside the zone, we don’t want to become chasers, either,” Mills
told the Astros’ official website.
Lucas Harrell (6-4, 4.83 ERA) will take the mound Saturday for
Houston seeking his fifth win in six starts, though he hasn’t
pitched particularly well lately.
The right-hander is 4-1 despite a 5.46 ERA over his last five
starts, He allowed five runs in 7 1-3 innings Sunday, but got
credit for an 11-9 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Harrell gave up four runs – three of them unearned – in 5 2-3
innings of a 6-5 win over the Rangers on May 19, his only career
start against them.