He earned a win.
Before yet another sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Grimm (1-0, 4.50 ERA) was cool, calm and collected…even after surrendering a first inning solo shot to Houston’s shortstop, Jed Lawrie.
Grimm would be touched up for two more Houston runs in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a Justin Maxwell RBI double and a Jordan Schafer single.
In between the one-run first and two-run fifth, Maxwell struck out five-straight Astros, and finished his day with six innings pitched, seven strikeouts, zero walks and three earned runs.
Not bad for a 22-year-old that had never pitched above Double-A.
And to think that when Grimm threw his final pitch in the sixth inning, he was in line to take the loss, as the Texas Rangers were down 3-0.
The three-run deficit wouldn’t last long.
Moments after Grimm used his 88th and final pitch to record the final out of a 1-2-3 sixth, the Texas Rangers offense suddenly sprang to life.
Better late than never.
After being blanked in their first five frames the Rangers finally solved the Lucas Harrell puzzle. Harrell had surrendered just two hits heading into the sixth. Before he could register the sixth inning’s second out, the Rangers had exploded for five hits and just as many runs, highlighted by a one-out, three-run homer by Nelson Cruz.
¡Gracias, Señor Boomstick!
I’m willing to bet Justin Grimm enjoyed the backing of the most potent offense in Major League Baseball. Here’s hoping the powers that be will grant the kid another big league start in the near future.
Numbers of Note and Notes on Numbers:
• Percentage of the Houston Astros’ total hits that Jordan Schafer recorded from the leadoff spot yesterday. Schafer, Houston’s center fielder, went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.
• 2 and 0…number of hits and runs Harrell allowed through his first five innings of work.
• 5 and 5…number of hits and runs Harrell allowed in the sixth inning; he recorded just one out before being replaced by Fernando Rodriguez.
The Five-run Inning
• A five-run fifth inning on Friday fueled the Rangers’ to victory in game 1.
• Likewise, it was a five-run outburst—this time in the sixth inning—that was Houston’s downfall yesterday.
• The last time Cruz had hit a home run before yesterday’s go-ahead, three-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning.
• Nelson’s big blast was just his second in the month of June.
• Yesterday’s 8-3 win guaranteed that the Silver Boot is the property of the Texas Rangers forever…this is the last Lone Star Series as the Astros will move into the AL West in 2013.
• Run differential between the Rangers and Astros through their first five games. Texas has outscored Houston 29-13.
• Number of consecutive at-bats Ian Kinsler had gone without a hit until he singled in the bottom of the sixth inning yesterday.
• Justin Grimm’s winning percentage over his minor league career—spanning 38 starts…Grimm’s won 100% of his major league starts.
• The Texas Rangers secured their third consecutive series win, and will go for their first sweep since late last month tomorrow in the Lone Star Series finale.
Anyone know a good real estate agent? Because the Silver Boot will be looking to buy some land in the DFW Metroplex—it won’t be heading back to Houston.
The Texas Rangers (39-27) will close out their three-game series with the Houston Astros (27-38) today, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:05 PM (CT).
RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 3.13 ERA) will look for his second-straight win against the Houston Astro’s rookie LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who will be making his big league debut.
Make sure to check back here for the Baseball Do series finale preview!