So the Astros avoided the season sweep with a 5-3 win over the Rangers. Down 3-0, the Astros scored the final five runs of the game to win it. How? Mainly by keeping Kinsler, Blalock and Cruz to a combined 1x11 - seeing 40 pitches...total.
Backe. Backe, Backe, Backe: 4IP, 4H/3ER, 1BB, 2HR - one from Michael Young, one from Chris Davis.
Wright: 2.2IP, 3K:2BB
Arias: .1IP, 1K, 1W
LaHawk: 1IP, 2H, 1BB
Valverde: 1IP, 1H, 1K, 1Sv
Backe pitched moderately effectively by keeping the ball - mostly - on the ground. Seven groundballs, Four flyball outs, and of course the two homers. 12 of his 34 strikes were of the non-contact variety, 10 called / 2 swinging. Wright had the same number of non-contact strikes, meaning the Astros got 27 called strikes off the Rangers. The bullpen recorded 5IP, 3H/0ER, 5K:3BB.
Once again, a throwing error by the catcher - this time Quintero - led to a run being scored. Nelson Cruz singled, then moved to second on a Backe WP, and then stole third. In the process of stealing third, Quintero threw the ball away, which allowed not only Cruz to score, but David Murphy to advance to second. Backe then buckled down and got the next two to get out of the inning. +1 to Pence for doubling Andrus off first on a Kinsler fly ball to right.
Offensively, it took the Astros a little while to get going. Berkman grounded out with 2 RISP in the first. Erstad GIPDed to end the 2nd. In the 5th, Quintero scored Erstad from 2nd with a single to center to make it a 2-run game. The 6th was pretty big. Let's look...
Lee: Single, scores Keppinger and Tejada takes the extra base to 3rd
Pence: Struck out swinging
Matsui: (Tejada scores, Lee moves to third, Berkman to 2nd on a 1-2 passed ball) Infield single
Erstad: Struck out swinging
Five baserunners, two walks, three hits, two runs.
Pence led off the top of the 8th with a homer off Jason Jennings, and Bourn tripled to right scoring Quintero to account for the final two runs of the game.
Man of the Match: Hard to say. So we'll go a little odd here and give it to Wesley Wright. Backe had allowed three runs in four innings with a .438 OBP. Wright came in and got eight outs in nine batters, slowing down the Rangers offense. Too bad he didn't get the win, but it's still a win.
Goat of the Game: Let's give this one to Berkman. 0x4, but with a walk. Each of his four outs ended the inning and he left four Astros on base.