Astros aim to halt road woes vs. Lone Star State rival Rangers

National Sports

The Houston Astros have looked dominant against the Texas Rangers at home in recent years.

It’s been a different story on the road, however.

Looking to avoid a seventh straight defeat at Arlington, Texas, the Astros will open a three-game set against the Rangers on Friday night.

Since the start of the 2019 season, Houston is 22-2 against Texas at home. The Astros have won the last 10 home games against the Rangers, with nine of those victories in 2021.

However, the Astros have dropped all three meetings at Arlington this season and six straight on the road in the series. Since 2019, Houston is 5-12 against its Lone Star State rival away from home.

The American League West-leading Astros, though, enter this series looking for a third consecutive win after taking two of three from Kansas City. Houston got a boost Wednesday with the return of star Alex Bregman, who had been out more than two months with a quad strain suffered against the Rangers on June 16.

Bregman went 2-for-5 with a double during Houston’s 6-5 victory in 10 innings over the Royals on Wednesday.

“I want to be playing,” Bregman told the Astros’ official website. “I feel healthy … I feel like I’m in peak form right now.”

Bregman, however, needs to improve his 2021 form versus Texas. He’s 8-for-35 with six walks in nine games against the Rangers this season, and he went 3-for-14 while the Astros were swept in a three-game set at Texas from May 21-23.

Scheduled Houston starter Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 4.52 ERA) owns a 4-1 record with a 3.48 ERA in 10 career appearances (nine starts) versus Texas. He has allowed three runs, six hits and struck out nine over 8 2/3 innings in two appearances (one start) against the Rangers this season. Neither of those outings came on the road, where the right-hander is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his last four starts.

Odorizzi, though, will look to build on a solid home effort against Seattle from Saturday, when he overcame four walks to allow a homer, three other hits and strike out eight over 5 2/3 innings of a 15-1 victory.

All-Star Texas rookie Adolis Garcia is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts this season versus Odorizzi. Garcia has enjoyed a strong season with 27 homers and 71 RBIs but is batting .183 during his last 37 contests, with just five of those home runs and nine runs driven in.

Teammate Andy Ibanez, however, is 19-for-38 with six doubles during a 10-game hitting streak.

The Rangers enter this contest after losing the final two of a three-game set at Cleveland. They’ve dropped 16 of the last 21 games overall.

“I’m always going to push these guys to figure out what it takes to win on an individual note, but also as a team,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward, whose club fell 10-6 to the Indians on Thursday.

Two days after Jake Latz made his major-league debut in a mound start for the Rangers on Wednesday, right-hander Glenn Otto is slated to do the same against Houston on Friday.

Otto, who came over from the New York Yankees in last month’s trade that involved Joey Gallo, was 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA 17 minor-league games (16 starts) this season.

–Field Level Media

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