Three takeaways from Rangers-Astros series opener: Another meltdown loss seals tiebreaker

The bullpen issues continue: Texas has lost leads of at least three runs in each of the last three games.

ARLINGTON — Three takeaways from the Rangers’ 13-6 Labor Day Monday loss to Houston in front of a sellout crowd of 39,181 at Globe Life Field.


It happened again

The Rangers had a 3-0 lead after three innings on Monday, then blew it. They have lost leads of at least three runs in each of their last three games. On Monday, the lead disappeared in the fifth when Andrew Heaney couldn’t execute a big pitch (more in a moment) or a big fielding play, throwing wildly to first on Jose Altuve’s swinging bunt.


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Errors played a key role in this game. Heaney’s error kept the fifth inning alive. Corey Seager, who has played excellent defense at short, let a ball go through his legs in the seventh that allowed two runs to score and opened the door to the bigger 6-run inning.

No sliding by

Cruising through four innings, the game got away from Andrew Heaney when he couldn’t get Yordan Alvarez to chase a second slider in a key fifth-inning at-bat. Alvarez missed a slider to get to a 2-2 count, fouled off another and then laid off yet another to earn himself a walk that loaded the bases. Alex Bregman followed with a 2-out single that tied the score, and two batters later Heaney was done. Heaney threw six sliders during his outing; five of them to Alvarez. He fooled him once, but not again. That’s what the Astros do: They make mid-at-bat adjustments that simply spoil a pitcher’s best-laid plans.



Houston’s win assured the Astros of the season-series tiebreaker between the two teams. The Astros are 7-4 against the Rangers with two games to play. In any scenario in which there is a two-team tie, the Astros will prevail. Although at the moment, with the Rangers now alone in third place in the AL West, thinking of tiebreakers seems kind of far-fetched anyway.


Twitter: @Evan_P_Grant

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