Silver Boot Series: Astros Sweep Rangers

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The Silver Boot Series, or Lone Star Series, is a rivalry series between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. Over the course of the season, these two teams will meet, and the team with the best series season record will take home the Silver Boot and bragging rights. Since the Silver Boot Series began in 2001, the Texas Rangers lead the series 120-95. On Thursday, the Astros and Rangers squared off at Minute Maid Park for the first time in 2021.

Silver Boot Series: Game One

Mike Foltynewicz (RHP, 1-3, 4.60 ERA) vs. Cristian Javier (RHP, 3-1, 2.90 ERA)

In-game one of the Silver Boot Series, the Astros sent young phenom right-handed pitcher Cristian Javier to open the series against the Rangers. On the other side, the Rangers sent veteran right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz to face his former club, the Astros.

The Rangers would strike first in the Silver Boot Series as left-fielder Willie Calhoun would hit a solo home run on the very first pitch of the game off of Javier, quickly putting the Rangers up 1-0. Rangers catcher Jose Trevino would hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the second, putting the Rangers up 2-0. In the bottom of the second inning, the Astros would finally get on the board thanks to Kyle Tucker, who had been struggling as of late at the plate, hit a single to start the inning.

From there, a single, a sacrifice fly, and a couple of doubles would give the Astros the lead, 3-2. In the top of the third inning, the Rangers would score again as outfielder Joey Gallo would ground into a fielder’s choice RBI, and the Rangers would tie up the game, 3-3. The game would remain scoreless and end up going into extra innings. At the bottom of the eleventh, the Rangers would intentionally walk Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman to load the bases, but a wild pitch would bring Myles Straw home, and the Astros would go to win the game excitingly, 4-3. Javier would go seven innings but end up with the no-decision. Brooks Raley would come in and get the win.

Silver Boot Series: Game Two

Wes Benjamin (LHP, 0-1, 4.76 ERA) vs. Zack Greinke (RHP, 2-1, 4.23 ERA)

In his last three starts, Zack Greinke had only managed to go a maximum of four innings before Dusty Baker would turn to his bullpen, so this start was crucial to Greinke and the Astros. Greinke would set the Rangers down in order in the first innings; so far, things were looking good for the veteran pitcher.

The Astros would kick off the scoring fest in the bottom of the second innings, with Tucker getting on base with a single. From there, the middle and bottom of the order would drive in runs quickly, putting the Astros up 3-0. That would be all for Benjamin, as the Rangers would turn the game over to their bullpen after 1.2 innings of work. In the top of third innings, the Rangers would get a run back on an RBI single from Trevino, cutting the lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Astros would add to their lead on a string of hits kicked off by Tucker, and the Astros would increase their lead to 7-1. The Rangers would get a run in the top of the fourth innings, cutting the lead down to 7-2. The Astros would continue their scoring in the bottom of the fifth as Straw would hit an RBI single and a monster two-run home run by Martin Maldonado hit into the Crawford Boxes, increasing the Astros lead to 10-2.

The Rangers would score a couple of runs in the later innings, but it would not be enough as the Astros would take game two of the Silver Boot Series, 10-4. Greinke would get the win after going seven innings, giving up three earned runs, with five strikeouts.

Silver Boot Series: Game Three

Dane Dunning (RHP, 2-2, 3.78 ERA) vs. Luis Garica (RHP, 0-3, 3.60 ERA)

The offense has been the key in the first two games of the Silver Boot Series for the Astros. Through two games, the Astros has outscored the Rangers, 14-7. The Astros would send Luis Garica to the mound, looking for his first win of the season. The Rangers would counter with Dane Dunning, a highly touted right-handed pitcher that Rangers acquired this past offseason in a trade with Chicago White Sox.

The Rangers would strike first in the top half of the first inning as Nate Lowe would drive in Nick Solak on a sacrifice fly, putting the Rangers up 1-0. The Astros would counter as Bregman would have a two-run single, putting the Astros up 2-1. Later in the first inning, Correa would hit a two-run home run to right field, putting the Astros up 4-1.

The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Tucker would extend the lead to 6-1 on a two-run home run. That hit would also extend Tucker’s hitting streak to seven games. The Rangers would cut into the Astros lead in the top of the eighth, scoring four runs which included a three-run home run from Gallo. Ryan Pressly would come on close out the ninth as the Astros would win and take the series, 6-5, allowing Garcia his first win of the season after going five innings.

Silver Boot Series: Game Four

Kyle Gibson (RHP, 3-0, 2.28 ERA) vs. Lance McCullers Jr. (RHP, 3-1, 3.10)

In the final game of the series and the homestand, the Astros sent Lance McCullers Jr. to face a Rangers lineup that has been nonexistent through this series. The Rangers countered with Kyle Gibson, a pitcher who seemed to give the Astros fits in previous meetings dating back to last season.

The Astros got on the board early in the bottom of the first inning as Bregman would hit an RBI single to center, quickly putting the Astros up 1-0. The Astros would score again in the bottom of the fifth on a Correa fielder’s choice, which would put the Astros up 2-0. The Rangers would finally get on the board in the top of the seventh as David Dahl would hit a two-run home run that would tie the game at 2-2.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Astros would load the bases on singles by Altuve, Correa, and Bregman. Gurriel would hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Altuve. Tucker would walk, bringing up Chas McCormick, who would single to left, brought in Correa and Bregman, and the Astros were up 5-2. Straw would come up and single to center, scoring Tucker, and the Astros would extend them to 6-2.

McCullers Jr. would end up going six scoreless innings, giving up only five hits while striking out five before turning it over to the bullpen. Brooks Raley would end up getting the win as the Astros would sweep the Rangers in the four-game series. The Astros and Rangers will meet five more times throughout the season, with the next series coming up May 21 – 23 at Globe Life Field.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Jeff "Rip" Griffin is a current MLB writer covering the Houston Astros. Rip is also the host of The Rip Griffin Show on Apple Podcasts. Rip holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, focusing in Sports Management from the University of Houston - Victoria.