Settling the Scores: Tuesday’s results

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The Rangers took a 4-0 lead in the first inning off of Collin McHugh, but coughed most of it back up in the second and all of it back up by the fourth when they took a 5-4 lead. But then Adrian Beltre doubled in Prince Fielder in the bottom half of the fourth and it was a whole new ballgame.

On to the ninth with Oliver Perez, pitching for the Astros to face the lefty Fielder, allowed the big man to reach on a single. Will Harris came in to pitch and promptly allowed pinch runner Drew Stubbs to make it to third on an Adrian Beltre single. Stubbs then came home on a Mitch Moreland sac fly. Watch the whole sequence and tell me that it doesn’t feel like playoff baseball has finally arrived, even if a bit early:

[mlbvideo id=”482853183″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

The Astros took over first place in the AL West on April 19 and held it until July 11. Then they returned to first place on July 29 and held it until last night. That’s pretty good for a club that lost 416 games over the previous four years. But ballplayers have short memories and, after the success they’ve had this year, not winning the division would have to feel like failure to them. So they had best hope they have a third surge to the top deep inside themselves someplace.

Here are the rest of last night’s results. Box scores here.

Rangers 6, Astros 5
Pirates 5, Cubs 4; Cubs 2, Pirates 1
Orioles 6, Red Sox 5
Nationals 4, Phillies 0
Royals 2, Indians 0
Braves 3, Blue Jays 2
Marlins 9, Mets 3
Rays 6, Yankees 3
Athletics 17, White Sox 6
Cardinals 3, Brewers 1
Tigers 5, Twins 4
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 4
Angels 4, Mariners 3
Rockies 5, Dodgers 4
Reds 9, Giants 8