Scott Feldman (8-11, 3.82) vs Lisalverto Bonilla (2-0, 4.30)
So we can thank Jose Veras for keeping the story of this game from being one of missed opportunities. Through 6.5 innings, the outcome hung on a razor's edge, with the Rangers up 1-0 and the Astros a 3rd-inning play at the plate from having it tied. But Veras entered in the bottom of the 7th, promptly gave up a pair of home runs, and at least kept Houston from getting swept by the Rangers in the most frustrating fashion possible. Astros lose 5-1, drop to 69-90 overall, and they fly to New York on Thursday for the final three of the season against the Mets.
On the Mound:
*Scott Feldman took his final turn of 2014 and made it a good one, though he struggled with walks more than usual. He also allowed at least one Ranger runner into scoring position in every inning except the 2nd, but his results were nonetheless solid, and he ended 2014 on a streak of 7 straight quality starts, with a 1.94 ERA. Overall, he finishes 8-12, 3.74, with 111 pitches tonight on a 6 IP / 4 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 4 BB / 6 K line.
*Then Jose Veras. Groundout, then a solo HR. Two walks, a strikeout, then a 3-run HR. 1-0 was within striking distance, but with Houston's offense mostly quiet all night, 5-1 was clearly out of reach.
*Jorge De Leon came in after Veras fell apart, and he retired four straight (2 K) for 1.1 IP scoreless.
At the Plate:
*The Astros finished this series having scored a total of 5 runs, after scoring at least 5 in each game against Seattle. The only thing keeping Houston from being shut out tonight was a solo HR by Jonathan Villar (7) in the 8th. Villar finished 1x3 with a K.
*Jake Marisnick (1x4, 3 K) almost got Houston on the board in the 3rd, with a single that sent Robbie Grossman home...
*...but Grossman was gunned down at the plate by Leonys Martin in center, so Robbie finished 1x2 with 2 BB, a SB, a K, and no runs scored.
*Jose Altuve did his darned best to manufacture a run, stealing second and third on consecutive pitches in the 6th after a walk. But Marisnick and Chris Carter both failed to drive him home, so Jose finished 1x3, and is now up to 56 steals on the season.
*Houston's only other hit came from Alex Presley, who went 1x3 with a K.
Jose Veras. Elvis Andrus grounded out, then Roughned Odor homered to right. Adrian Beltre and Jake Smolinski both walked, Tomas Telis struck out, then Ryan Rua homered to left. Texas already led 1-0 before that point anyway, but the 7th was a dagger to Houston's hopes.
Man of the Match:
Goat of the Game: