• Brian L. Barefield

On the Road Again Astros takes series from Rangers and head out West for a grueling road trip.

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

Stop me if you have heard me say this before. Michael Brantley is good.


Now I know I am repeating myself from my last article, but when you have a player that is having a repeat performance you have no choice but to repeat or maybe reiterate some of the previous things said. Houston (21-15) used the third and final game of the homestand to unleash the bats on one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball and defeat the Texas Ranger (13-23) by a score of 8-4.

Brantley had an amazing series against the Rangers batting .500 (6-for12) and driving in nine runs to help Houston win the series 2-1 and improve to 16-6 at home.

The Astros used a four-run first inning led by Brantley’s RBI single to drive home George Springer for the game’s first run. That was followed by a three-run homerun from Aledmys Diaz to put the Astros up 4-0. That was enough to keep Rangers starter Lance Lynn (4-2) trying to find ways to control Houston’s powerful offense for the rest of the game. He exited the game after pitching six innings and giving up six earned runs.

It was a very unusual start for Lynn as he had not given up more than three earned runs the entire season and had only given up 11 in his previous eight starts.

“He is one of the best in the game,” said George Springer when asked about getting to Lynn early. “The longer he stays in the game, the harder he gets.”

Astros catcher Martin Maldonado would end Lynn’s night when he hit an opposite field homer to right field on an 0-1 count. It was his fourth homerun of the season and this one brought a smile to Baker’s face.

“I have been trying to get him to go to right field more and he told me it was luck,” said Baker. “Him and Tucker could be the MVP’s so far for the team. He is having a huge year. Taking walks when they are given to him and getting some great hits.”

Maldonado wasn’t just good at the plate on Thursday. He was also good behind it calling a terrific game for starter Zack Greinke (3-0) who had a season-high nine strikeouts only allowing three earned runs in six innings.

“First inning or two was kind of wild, but I felt good after that,” Greinke said of his start.

Houston will now embark on a gruesome West Coast trip that will have them playing 11-games against the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A’s. That will include doubleheaders against those teams to make up for postponed games due to weather (Angels) and COVID related issues (A’s) during the last homestand at Minute Maid Park.

“We’ve definitely got to do much better than the trip we had last time out West,” Baker said when asked about the upcoming schedule. “We’re looking forward to it. “I think this one will be better because we know how to deal with the isolation and confinement that we went through the first time on the West Coast.”

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

The Astros are hoping to get some of its manpower back soon that will help them make a strong push late in the season as they look to capture their fourth consecutive American League West title. All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman’s rehab is coming along well and maybe able to join the team soon.

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