Rangers’ Choo paces 12-2 rout of Astros

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

ST. PETERS­BURG, Florida (AP) — Choo Shin-soo home­red and drove in four runs Tues­day, help­ing the Texas Rangers rout the Astros 12-2 in the opener of a se­ries re­lo­cated to Florida due to flood­ing in Houston caused by Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

Adrian Bel­tre of the Rangers drove in three runs to pass Hall of Famer Ernie Banks for 28th on the ca­reer RBI list with 1,637 while Joey Gallo hit a two-run homer off Mike Fiers (8-9) be­fore an an­nounced crowd of 3,485 at Trop­i­cana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The three-game se­ries that con­cludes Thurs­day was moved from Minute Maid Park be­cause of flood­ing in the Houston area, with the Astros serv­ing as the home team af­ter the Rangers de­clined a pro­posal to play the games in Ar­ling­ton, Texas.

It’s only the fourth time in ma­jor league his­tory that games have been re­lo­cated to neu­tral sites be­cause of weather.

The Astros were in­volved as well in 2008, when two sched­uled home games against the Chicago Cubs were moved to Mil­wau­kee be­cause of Hur­ri­cane Ike.

Three games be­tween the An­gels and In­di­ans were played in Mil­wau­kee in­stead of Cleve­land be­cause of snow in 2007, and two games be­tween the Montreal Ex­pos and Florida Mar­lins were moved from Mi­ami to U.S. Cel­lu­lar Field in Chicago due to Hur­ri­cane Ivan in 2004.

Choo had an RBI sin­gle off Fiers, who al­lowed eight runs in four in­nings. He added a three-run homer off re­liever Fran­cis Martes in the fifth.

Martin Perez (10-10) pitched seven strong in­nings for the Rangers, yield­ing two runs and eight hits. Jose Al­tuve and Alex Breg­man drove in runs for the Astros with third-in­ning sin­gles.

There’s still been no of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment on where the Astros will play this week­end’s “home” se­ries against the New York Mets, though it likely will be Trop­i­cana Field. If the team, which be­gins a 10-game trip af­ter fac­ing the Mets, re­mains in St. Peters­burg through Sun­day it will wind up play­ing 19 con­sec­u­tive games away from Minute Maid Park.

Ar­ri­eta con­tin­ues strong sec­ond half, Cubs beat Pi­rates 4-1

CHICAGO (AP) — By his own ad­mis­sion, Jake Ar­ri­eta, wasn’t at his best Tues­day night. He still was good enough.

Ar­ri­eta con­tin­ued his dom­i­nant sec­ond half with six in­nings of two-hit ball, Ben Zo­brist home­red and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pitts­burgh Pi­rates 4-1.

Ar­ri­eta (14-8) struck out four and re­tired the last seven bat­ters he faced, leav­ing af­ter 97 pitches with a 3-0 lead. He hasn’t al­lowed more than two earned runs in any of his nine starts since the All-Star break, go­ing 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA dur­ing that span.

“I feel con­fi­dent that even if I don’t have my good stuff, or if I’m without two pitches, the two pitches I have are more than enough to get the job done,” he said.

“He wasn’t on top of his game com­pletely, and he knew that,” man­ager Joe Mad­don said. “He did his job tonight.”

An­thony Rizzo went 3 for 4 with an RBI, Alex Avila had an RBI sin­gle and Ja­son Hey­ward added a sac­ri­fice fly for NL Cen­tral-lead­ing Chicago, which stretched its lead over sec­ond­place Mil­wau­kee to 3 { games.

John Jaso went 2 for 2 with a homer and reached in all four plate ap­pear­ances for Pitts­burgh.

Chad Kuhl (6-10) matched Ar­ri­eta through five in­nings but ran into trou­ble im­me­di­ately in the sixth. His first pitch was a 95 mph fast­ball down the mid­dle that Zo­brist hit into the bleach­ers in right cen­ter.

AP-Yon­hap

Texas Rangers' Choo Shin-soo, sec­ond from right, cel­e­brates with Elvis An­drus, left, Robin­son Chiri­nos, sec­ond from left, and Rougned Odor, right, af­ter Choo hit a three-run home run off Houston Astros re­lief pitcher Fran­cis Martes dur­ing the fifth in­ning of a base­ball game in St. Peters­burg, Fla., Tues­day. The Astros moved their three-game home se­ries against the Rangers to St. Peters­burg be­cause of un­safe con­di­tions from Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

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