Jul 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro (15) is congratulated after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Castro Clobbers Texas Rangers; Houston Astros Win 4-2

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The Texas Rangers are back in town and the continuation of the Lone Star Series commenced!

You know, Jason Castro needed this, he really needed this.  After struggling for quite some time at the plate, he finally was able to get something going.

Not only that but he hit the eventual game-winner that catapulted the Houston Astros to their 57th victory of the season.

His .227 batting average is down from previous years considering that he finished 2013 batting .276 and 2012 batting .257.

It’s quite peculiar how he has fallen so fast but there’s no doubt he’s doing everything he can to get back in the groove.

The grand slam that he hit last night may be the start of something big, or just the start of something period.

It was the 2nd of his career…

It will be interesting to see as we head into the last month of the season how Castro responds to and how he faces head on the fight to avoid futility.

Regardless, last night, I was strongly encouraged that he’s reaching that point to where he can start to turn things around.

Let’s get to it…

The Texas Rangers did strike first and that was right at the top of order when Mike Carp went all GIDP on Jose Altuve — who turned it into a 4-6-3 play — scoring Leonys Martin and getting Elvis Andrus out at 2nd base.  Rangers 1, Astros 0

At the top of the 3rd inning, Carp sac-flied to left scoring Robinson Chirinos with enough distance to advance Martin to 3rd base and Andrus to 2nd base.  Rangers 2, Astros 0

And here’s where the Astros ran away with the win when Castro dealt the final blow, a TKO of sorts, causing the Rangers to never recover from such a punch all in one pop of the bat.

It was quite the narrative of what led up to that TKO as well…

It all started with Altuve singling to center, a Chris Carter walk advancing Altuve to 2nd base, warranting the Rangers to give Nick Tepesch the hook early.

The Astros trudged on despite the pitching change to Roman Mendez.

It was Dexter Fowler that officially loaded up the bases by grounding to 3rd — advancing Altuve and Carter to 3rd and 2nd base, respectively.

Tensions were high and Mendez just inherited himself into a jam with Fowler’s play.

So who was up next to bat?

CASTRO!

The count was two balls and no strikes; and, all of sudden, CRACK!  A grand slam!  He sent that baby flying out to right with pride off Mendez’s 96-mph, four-seam fastball scoring Altuve, Carter and Fowler.  Astros 4, Rangers 2

Mendez seemed to give everything he had on that pitch and Castro just pulverized it!

Unlike Wednesday night’s game where they let it slip away, in this game, they took control and never wavered.

Collin McHugh turned out make an early recovery to have a solid outing allowing eight hits, two earned runs, no walks and fanning six in seven innings of work.  With the trouble he was having early in, one would think it’d be an early night for him but Bo Porter stuck with him, to which I appreciate.

It’s wins like these that further helps me appreciate the process that the team is going through to elevate themselves back to legitimacy in the major leagues once again.

They’re still trending upward and it’s clearly evident because the Astros are on track to win the Silver Boot for the first time in eight years.

That will be a nice accentuation to season that has seen much improvement.  It’s nearly September and they’re still well under 100 losses!

Anyhow, the Astros continue the series against the Rangers tonight in the 2nd game of the four-game set.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m CDT.  Brett Oberholtzer will take on Scott Baker at the mound.

Go ‘Stros!

 

 

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Tags: Houston Astros

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