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Rays stifle ‘Stros; Rangers rally past Cubs

Chirinos gives bullpen some rest, Rays beat Astros 3-1

By MARK DIDTLER

ST PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Yonny Chirinos covered splendidly for Tampa Bay’s taxed bullpen, Austin Meadows hit his second homer and the Rays took three of four games from the Houston Astros with a 3-1 victory Sunday.

The Rays had planned to use an opener for the first time this season, but manager Kevin Cash instead turned to the 25-year-old Chirinos rather than push his fatigued relievers. Chirinos pitched seven innings, allowing one run, two hits and no walks while striking out six. The only run came on Jake Marisnick’s homer in the sixth.

Diego Castillo, the fourth Tampa Bay reliever, closed out a three-hitter with three outs in the ninth. None of those relievers threw more than 17 pitches.

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was hitless in his season debut. He missed the first three games with neck stiffness.

Tampa Bay was the only team to have a winning record against the Astros in each of the last two seasons, when Houston won a combined 204 games. The Rays need to win once in a three-game set Aug. 27-29 at Houston to take this year’s series.

Meadows had three RBIs, including a two-run shot off Wade Miley (0-1) in the third. He also had an RBI single in the first.

Miley made his first start after signing a $4.5 million, one-year free agent deal. He allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.

Tampa Bay scored 11 runs during the series, including eight with two outs. The Astros had nine runs.

The game took 2 hours, 12 minutes. All four games in the series lasted 2:40 or less.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: LF Michael Brantley was rested. It’s something that manager AJ Hinch plans to do with other regulars early in the season. “It probably feels like it’s early, but I’m going to leave some gas in their gas tank throughout the year,” Hinch said. Brantley pinch-hit in the eighth.

Rays: 2B Joey Wendle departed with a left hamstring strain. … 3B Matt Duffy (back/left hamstring) has not resumed baseball activities and will miss all of April. An early to mid-May return is possible.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Brad Peacock, who won the fifth starter spot in spring training, will face Texas LHP Drew Smyly on Monday night. Smyly, coming back from Tommy John surgery in July 2017, threw one inning in a minor league game over the last two seasons.

Rays: Will use either an opener or bullpen day against Colorado RHP Chad Bettis on Monday night. Bettis, making his first start of the season, is 5-6 with a 7.20 ERA in 16 interleague games, including 12 starts.

 

Rangers top Cubs 11-10 after falling behind former ace again

By SCHUYLER DIXON

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Joey Gallo scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers outscored the Chicago Cubs 11-10 on Sunday after falling behind one of their former aces for the second straight day.

With one out in the ninth and the Cubs playing five infielders, Gallo raced home from third base when Pedro Strop’s pitch to Nomar Mazara bounced past catcher Willson Contreras and high onto the net behind home plate to give the Rangers a series win after the Cubs’ 12-4 victory on opening day.

Jose Leclerc (1-0) stopped a Chicago rally and got the last four outs for Texas. Strop (0-1) allowed Gallo’s leadoff double in the ninth, a high drive just over leaping left fielder Ben Zobrist at the wall.

Cole Hamels couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead, allowing Delino DeShields’ first career grand slam for a 5-4 deficit a day after Yu Darvish took the mound for Chicago up 3-0 before walking seven of his first 13 hitters and failing to get through the third inning.

The Japanese star who spent his first five-plus major league seasons with the Rangers was long gone by the time the Cubs finally lost the lead on Gallo’s three-run homer in the eighth inning of an 8-6 Texas win.

Chicago answered DeShields’ slam with a barrage of run-scoring singles before reliever Mike Montgomery gave up a tying, two-run triple to Mazara and Asdrubal Cabrera’s second two-run homer in two days, a high fly that grazed the foul pole in left for a 10-8 Texas lead.

The Cubs got even again in the eighth on Anthony Rizzo’s first homer , an upper-deck solo shot to right, and Daniel Descalso’s third hit _ one of seven RBI singles for the Cubs.

Jason Heyward, Zobrist, Rizzo and Javier Baez drove in a run apiece in the sixth inning before Jeff Mathis, celebrating his 36th birthday, homered to get Texas to 8-6.

Hamels, acquired from the Rangers before the July 31 trade deadline last year, lost his shutout on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. Consecutive walks from the left-hander set up DeShields’ liner into the first row above the 14-foot wall in left field.

Lance Lynn lost his only lead in his Texas debut by allowing a double to Descalso and Heyward’s run-scoring hit to start the sixth. Lynn came out after Zobrist’s second RBI single, and Jesse Chavez gave up singles to all three hitters he faced.

Kyle Schwarber opened the scoring with his second solo homer in two games, a shot to left in the second that Cubs reliever Randy Rosario snagged in his cap while sitting in a bullpen chair.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks is set for Atlanta’s home opener on Monday. Hendricks, who led the Cubs with a career-high 33 starts last season, is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four appearances against the Braves.

Rangers: LHP Drew Smyly is scheduled for his first major league start since September 2016 in his Texas debut at home against Houston on Monday. Smyly, acquired from the Cubs in November, had Tommy John surgery in July 2017.

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Posted by on Apr 1 2019. Filed under Sports.
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