By Derek Fogel

Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – It was a rocky beginning for Houston starting pitcher Joe Musgrove. He gave up four earned runs in the first inning, followed by an unearned run in the second and would end his day after just four complete innings. It was a deficit that the Astros could not quite overcome and they lost by a final score of 10-4 to settle for 3 of 4 games in their first series of 2017 against the Texas Rangers.

“He threw too many strikes which is not something you normally say about a pitcher, but he had a hard time,” Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said.

Musgrove’s first inning set the tone for a tough outing. Joe faced eight batters with 29 pitches and gave up five hits, one of them a home run. However, every out in that inning was a strikeout.

“That first inning, 6 out of the 8 guys I was ahead (0-2), (1-2) and you know those are the guys I’ve got to get out. That seems to be my problem lately in the last couple outings, getting ahead early and not being able to put guys away,” Musgrove said.

After the first inning Joe never gave up another hit, although he would issue three walks and have two more base runners via errors by Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman. The throwing error on a bunt by third baseman Alex Bregman would lead to Musgrove’s unearned run in the 2nd inning. In the 3rd, a fielding error by second baseman Jose Altuve would be made irrelevant thanks to an inning ending double play on the succeeding hitter.

Offensively, the Astros had many opportunities but could not capitalize. They left 16 runners on-base. The Rangers allowed 10 walks, but only one free pass made it around to score.

“We’re pretty good with runners in scoring position, and today you know obviously we gave ourselves a lot of opportunities… But, today they won the at-bats,” Hinch said. “We felt like during periods in the middle innings we had a chance to win.”

The Astros next go to Anaheim for three games with the Angels. The rotation turns over for the seventh time this season as Dallas Keuchel will look to earn his sixth win of the year. Thus far Houston has a record of (15-5) against the American League West division.

Derek Fogel, reporter/host @FogelSaidWhat


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