Rangers blanked by Astros, fall 2-0

The Texas Rangers were held to three hits Saturday as they were shut out 2-0 by the Houston Astros in a Lone Star Series pitchers duel.

After six-and-a half scoreless innings, the Astros were able to put the first runs of the game on the board. Jesus Guzman lead off by drawing a four-pitch walk from Phil Klein. Then, Carlos Corporan hit a ground rule double, putting two men in scoring position with no outs. Jake Marisnick hit an infield single to score Guzman, and a throwing error by Klein let Corporan score.

The game was slow to see any action, lasting four-and-a-third innings before either team had a hit. Ryan Rua singled for the Rangers to snap a perfect game bid from Astros starter Scott Feldman.

It was a complete game shutout for former Rangers pitcher Feldman, who was able to hold Texas to only three hits — the single from Rua as well as singles from Rougned Odor and Leonys Martin. It looked easy for Feldman, as he continued to retire one Rangers player after another, striking out five and only walking one.

Forced into a spot start after projected starter Miles Mikolas was diagnosed with fatigue in his right shoulder, Robbie Ross was, simply put, awesome. Ross threw five no-hit innings, striking out five and walking three. It was without a doubt the best Ross has looked in the majors as a starter, and he clearly showed no desire to exit the game when he did. Assuming Mikolas is healthy, Ross will likely return to the bullpen, however, it seems as if his time in Triple-A was well served.

If you're wondering why manager Ron Washington would pull Ross after five no-hit innings, it has everything to do with a limited pitch count. Ross last pitched Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock, in relief of Derek Holland. Ross went 2.1 innings, throwing 42 pitches in that appearance.

With Saturday night's loss, the Rangers' record against the Astros moves to 5-10. With only four games left against Houston, Texas now has no chance of reclaiming the Silver Boot, losing the I-45 series for the first time since 2006.

Nick Martinez takes the mound for the Rangers Sunday afternoon, in the final game of the four-game series against Houston. Game time is 1:10 p.m. CT.


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