Astros extend road dominance vs. Rangers, level ALCS
Posted on: 20 Oct, 2023 at 04:48 AM
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Astros have tormented the Rangers in Texas' home ballpark this season by averaging nine runs in the nine meetings.
The latest scoring spree allowed the Astros to tie the American League Championship Series at two games apiece with a 10-3 victory over on Thursday night in Arlington, Texas.
Jose Abreu slugged a three-run homer and Yordan Alvarez also drove in three runs for Houston, which is 8-1 when visiting Texas in 2023. The Astros have scored 69 runs in their past six games in Arlington.
It seems the only tough thing for the Astros is explaining why their offense is so potent at Globe Life Field.
"I have no idea," said Alex Bregman, who contributed a two-run triple. "I think our offense has done a better job the past two days passing the torch to the next guy and putting together tougher at-bats -- and hopefully we can keep that going."
Houston manager Dusty Baker has repeatedly struggled to offer an explanation.
"They keep asking me that same question. I've got the same answer: I don't know," Baker said. "I know our guys see the ball well here, and the ball carries here."
Jose Altuve also had a big night, finishing with three hits and three runs in his 100th career playoff game. Altuve pointed to Abreu as the most important cog.
Abreu's three-run shot in the fourth inning made it 7-3 and zapped the energy out of the Rangers' crowd. It was his fourth homer of this postseason.
"He's a great teammate and he deserves everything that is happening to him right now," Altuve said of Abreu. "He's hit very important homers during the playoffs."
Chas McCormick added a two-run blast for Houston, which has won 18 of its past 21 road games dating back to the regular season.
Adolis Garcia and Corey Seager each had a homer and a single for Texas, which has lost two straight games after winning its first seven this postseason.
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series will be played Friday in Arlington.
Texas has been outscored 18-8 in the consecutive home losses, and manager Bruce Bochy is troubled by his team's difficulty in dealing with Houston.
"You don't like to lose like we've been losing with these guys," Bochy said. "Earlier in September they had their way with us. Especially in your home ballpark, you hate to have a game go like this."
Astros reliever Ryne Stanek (1-0) induced a double-play ball in the third inning on his lone pitch, and Hunter Brown followed with three scoreless innings.
Houston led 3-0 just 10 pitches into the game.
Altuve hit a leadoff double against Andrew Heaney, and Mauricio Dubon followed with a single. Bregman then ripped a two-run triple to right-center, and Alvarez followed with a sharp RBI single to center. Heaney was done before the inning ended.
Texas battled back in the early innings. Garcia hit a solo homer off Jose Urquidy in the second -- his third career postseason blast, all this season -- and Josh Jung cut the deficit to 3-2 with a sacrifice fly later in the frame.
Seager slugged a solo shot in the third for a 3-3 tie. He has two homers this postseason and 15 in his career.
Houston loaded the bases with one out in the fourth off Dane Dunning (1-1) before Alvarez greeted Cody Bradford with a sacrifice fly to give the Astros a 4-3 lead. Abreu came up next and ripped a 2-2 fastball into the second deck in left-center to make it a four-run margin. It was the fifth homer of his playoff career.
In the seventh, McCormick hit his two-run blast off Will Smith to make it 9-3. It was his first homer of this postseason and the third of his playoff career.
Alvarez added a run-scoring single in the eighth.
Heaney recorded just two outs and gave up three runs, four hits and one walk. Dunning pitched the next 2 2/3 innings and allowed three runs, three hits and three walks. He struck out four.
Urquidy yielded three runs and five hits over 2 1/3 innings. He struck out one and walked one.
--Field Level Media