HOUSTON (KIAH) — With two of the most powerful lineups in Major League Baseball, a 2-0 final score is a surprise to lots of folks.
But the Astros and Rangers can pitch too, and that was on full display Sunday night during Game One of the American League Championship Series.
Houston ace Justin Verlander threw 6.2 innings of 2-run ball, but he was bettered by Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery whose 6.1 innings of work were scoreless.
A leadoff walk by Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in the eighth put fear in the hearts of Rangers fans who’ve watched their bullpen melt down dozens of times this year.
It then looked like ‘Tuve might score on a long drive off the bat of third baseman Alex Bregman.
Rangers rookie left fielder Evan Carter made a leaping grab at the wall for out number one — but then something unusual happened.
Altuve rounded second base before the ball was caught and then ran back to first after the catch, only he didn’t touch second base while running to tag up.
The Rangers appeal on the field was denied by the umpires, but a video review led to a reversal, and Altuve was called out.
“I thought the ball was over his head,” he said of Carter’s catch after the game. “I didn’t think he would make the play he made. It was a great play. And then you just try to come back to first. That’s what I did.”
Right fielder Yordan Alvarez grounded out to end the eighth inning, and the Astros went down in order in the ninth at the hands of Rangers closer Jose Leclerc.
The Astros will try to even the best-of-seven ALCS in Game 2 Monday afternoon.
Game time from Minute Maid Park in Houston is set for 3:37 p.m.