Minor victory for Rangers in 4-0 win over frustrated Astros

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Gerrit Cole had been frustrated most of the game, like the rest of the Astros, and Houston's starter went immediately to the home plate umpire after recording his final out.

Cole put his glove over his mouth and was clearly agitated during an extended conversation with ump Ron Kulpa at the end of the sixth inning of the Astros' 4-0 loss Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers.

That was long after Astros manager AJ Hinch and hitting coach Alex Cintron had been ejected by Kulpa in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes.

''It was a challenging night for us. Just looking to shower it off,'' said Cole (0-2), who struck out nine and allowed three runs. ''Maybe disagreed on a call or two, but that wasn't the major point of issue for me. What he does is out of my control and I need to do a better job of handling my body language. ... I'm just going to leave it on the field. It wasn't with the strike zone.''

Umpire crew chief Jerry Meals, who was working third base, said Cole was upset leaving the game because Kulpa had limited him on his warmup pitches in the fourth inning after the pitcher was late coming out of the dugout then. Meals said Kulpa was enforcing MLB pace-of-play policy when he stepped in front of the plate.

''We've been instructed to tell him one more pitch, he ignored that. Threw another one, fine. Ignored it again, wanted to keep throwing,'' Meals said. ''He has a responsibility to come out of the dugout earlier to warm up. He waited until his catcher was ready, which is not what you do.''

As for the ejections, Meals said the Astros dugout ''basically erupted'' after a called strike on the first pitch thrown to Tyler White in the second.

Hinch then came out after Kulpa stared toward the dugout. Nobody was initially ejected, but soon after the manager returned to the dugout and before the next pitch, Cintron was still chirping and was tossed.

When Hinch was asked if he was upset that Kulpa kept looking toward the dugout, the manager responded, ''Yeah, I think things could have been handled differently. Everybody has social media. Everybody has a broadcast. So everybody knows what happened.''

One pitch later, after another called strike, Hinch was ejected and then came out of the dugout for a heated argument with Kulpa. Hinch was pulled away by bench coach Joe Espada, who took over as the acting manager.

''So we know you argue balls and strikes is one thing. When you get ejected more aggressively, it's disappointing,'' Hinch said.

On replay, Kulpa appeared to be saying ''I can do whatever I want'' while addressing Hinch.

''That's what he said, and that's apparently what he meant,'' Hinch said. ''He's in charge. And obviously you make a scene I guess so everybody has to pay attention. But we'll let the league sort it out.''

Meals said Kulpa had warned the Astros bench to ''knock it off'' and told Hinch that when he came out the first time.

''It was all because of the dugout complaining on pitches,'' Meals said of the ejections.

Mike Minor (1-1) pitched seven sharp innings for the Rangers, who are 4-2 after winning each of their first two series for new manager Chris Woodward. It is the first time since 2013 that Texas has won its first two series of a season.

Minor, who didn't make it out of the fifth inning in his first career opening-day start last Thursday, gave up five hits, struck out seven and walked two.

''I think I was honestly just glad to get that out of the way,'' Minor said, referring to his first start. ''And now every game counts and everybody just kind of leaning on each other. It's not going to match up like that the whole season, so everybody's just kind of going out there competing.''

After fielding Hunter Pence's comebacker and throwing to first for an inning-ending out on his 105th pitch in the sixth, Cole went directly to Kulpa. While the Astros batted in the seventh, Cole was still rankled while pacing back and forth in the dugout.

Cole also addressed Kulpa after the third inning, during a stretch when the pitcher had just retired seven batters in a row since Gallo's walk in the first.

The loss ended a season-opening 2-5 trip for the two-time defending AL West champions who won the World Series in 2017.

Nomar Mazara put Texas ahead to stay with a two-out infield RBI single in the first. Pence had a two-out RBI single in the fourth and scored on Ronald Guzman's double. Mazara added a solo homer , his second of the season, in the eighth.

IN RELIEF

Shawn Kelley and Jose Leclerc each pitched an inning to wrap up the first shutout of the season for the Rangers.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: Mazara fell awkwardly to the ground after colliding with 1B Yuli Gurriel on his hit in the first. Mazara stayed down for several minutes while a Rangers trainer checked him, before he got up and jogged around a bit.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (0-1) starts the home opener Friday night against Oakland.

Rangers: RHP Edinson Volquez makes his second start on Thursday night when the Rangers travel to Los Angeles to serve as the opponent in the home opener for the Angels.

---

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Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
HOU2-5
000000000060
TEX4-2
10020001X452
  • W: M. Minor (1-1)L: G. Cole (0-2)
  • HR: TEX - N. Mazara (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF30100110.308.387.538.9260.5
J. Altuve 2B40200022.222.276.370.6461.0
A. Bregman 3B40100013.208.321.375.6960.5
M. Brantley LF40000013.208.269.375.644-0.5
C. Correa SS40100021.333.375.533.9081.0
Y. Gurriel 1B30000101.200.286.280.5661.0
T. White DH40100002.267.353.333.6862.0
M. Stassi C30000001.000.000.000.0000.0
J. Reddick RF30000021.375.412.375.787-1.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    S. Choo DH30000110.167.211.333.5442.5
    R. Odor 2B40000021.227.320.273.593-1.0
    E. Andrus SS41100011.375.400.542.9423.5
    N. Mazara RF41221011.300.417.7001.1177.5
    D. DeShields CF00000000.067.300.267.5670.0
    J. Gallo CF-LF11000310.222.440.444.8843.5
    A. Cabrera 3B40000034.273.292.7271.019-1.5
    H. Pence LF-RF31110000.400.455.400.8553.0
    R. Guzman 1B30110010.176.222.471.6932.5
    J. Mathis C30000031.154.214.385.599-1.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Correa (3), T. White
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Altuve, A. Bregman, M. Brantley 2 (2), Y. Gurriel, M. Stassi
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. Guzman (2)
      • HR - N. Mazara (2)
      • RBI - N. Mazara 2 (7), H. Pence, R. Guzman (2)
      • 2-Out RBI - N. Mazara 2 (6), H. Pence, R. Guzman
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Mazara, A. Cabrera 3 (3), J. Mathis
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - G. Springer
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - S. Choo, E. Andrus
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Andrus-Guzman; Odor-Andrus-Guzman)
      • E - E. Andrus, A. Cabrera
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      G. Cole (L, 0-2)6.04333903.001.0010.5
      J. James2.01111411.800.805.0
      PITCHERSIP
      G. Cole (L, 0-2)6.0
      J. James2.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Minor (W, 1-1)7.05002704.631.2027.5
      S. Kelley (H, 1)1.01000100.000.502.5
      J. Leclerc1.00000100.000.463.5
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Minor (W, 1-1)7.0
      S. Kelley (H, 1)1.0
      J. Leclerc1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - G. Cole 105-70, J. James 37-25
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Cole 4-5, J. James 1-1
      • Batters Faced - G. Cole 25, J. James 8
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Minor 95-58, S. Kelley 16-10, J. Leclerc 9-6
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Minor 5-8, S. Kelley 1-1
      • Batters Faced - M. Minor 27, S. Kelley 4, J. Leclerc 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      HOU2-5
      000000000060
      TEX4-2
      10020001X452
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      G. Springer CF30100110.308.387.538.9260.5
      J. Altuve 2B40200022.222.276.370.6461.0
      A. Bregman 3B40100013.208.321.375.6960.5
      M. Brantley LF40000013.208.269.375.644-0.5
      C. Correa SS40100021.333.375.533.9081.0
      Y. Gurriel 1B30000101.200.286.280.5661.0
      T. White DH40100002.267.353.333.6862.0
      M. Stassi C30000001.000.000.000.0000.0
      J. Reddick RF30000021.375.412.375.787-1.0
      Total3206002914-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        S. Choo DH30000110.167.211.333.5442.5
        R. Odor 2B40000021.227.320.273.593-1.0
        E. Andrus SS41100011.375.400.542.9423.5
        N. Mazara RF41221011.300.417.7001.1177.5
        D. DeShields CF00000000.067.300.267.5670.0
        J. Gallo CF-LF11000310.222.440.444.8843.5
        A. Cabrera 3B40000034.273.292.7271.019-1.5
        H. Pence LF-RF31110000.400.455.400.8553.0
        R. Guzman 1B30110010.176.222.471.6932.5
        J. Mathis C30000031.154.214.385.599-1.5
        Total2945414138-----
        HITTERSAB
        S. Choo DH3
        R. Odor 2B4
        E. Andrus SS4
        N. Mazara RF4
        D. DeShields CF0
        J. Gallo CF-LF1
        A. Cabrera 3B4
        H. Pence LF-RF3
        R. Guzman 1B3
        J. Mathis C3
        Total29
          BATTING
          • 2B - C. Correa (3), T. White
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Altuve, A. Bregman, M. Brantley 2 (2), Y. Gurriel, M. Stassi
          BATTING
          • 2B - R. Guzman (2)
          • HR - N. Mazara (2)
          • RBI - N. Mazara 2 (7), H. Pence, R. Guzman (2)
          • 2-Out RBI - N. Mazara 2 (6), H. Pence, R. Guzman
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Mazara, A. Cabrera 3 (3), J. Mathis
          BASERUNNING
          • CS - G. Springer
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - S. Choo, E. Andrus
          FIELDING
          • DP - 2 (Andrus-Guzman; Odor-Andrus-Guzman)
          • E - E. Andrus, A. Cabrera
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          G. Cole (L, 0-2)6.04333903.001.0010.5
          J. James2.01111411.800.805.0
          Total8.05444131---
          PITCHERSIP
          G. Cole (L, 0-2)6.0
          J. James2.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          M. Minor (W, 1-1)7.05002704.631.2027.5
          S. Kelley (H, 1)1.01000100.000.502.5
          J. Leclerc1.00000100.000.463.5
          Total9.0600290---
          PITCHERSIP
          M. Minor (W, 1-1)7.0
          S. Kelley (H, 1)1.0
          J. Leclerc1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - G. Cole 105-70, J. James 37-25
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Cole 4-5, J. James 1-1
          • Batters Faced - G. Cole 25, J. James 8
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - M. Minor 95-58, S. Kelley 16-10, J. Leclerc 9-6
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Minor 5-8, S. Kelley 1-1
          • Batters Faced - M. Minor 27, S. Kelley 4, J. Leclerc 3
          • 8TH INNING
            Mazara homered to center04
          • 4TH INNING
            Guzman doubled to left center, Pence scored03
            Pence singled to right, Gallo scored02
          • 1ST INNING
            Mazara reached on an infield single to second, Andrus scored01
          • 9TH INNING
            • Jose Leclerc relieved Shawn Kelley
            • Delino DeShields in center field
            • C. Correa: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Correa struck out looking
            • Y. Gurriel: Gurriel flied out to deep left
            • T. White: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, White flied out to center
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Shawn Kelley relieved Mike Minor
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
            • J. Altuve: Ball, Foul, Altuve singled to right
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman lined out to left
            • M. Brantley: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Brantley grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. James Pitching:
            • R. Odor: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Odor struck out swinging
            • E. Andrus: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Andrus struck out swinging
            • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Mazara homered to center
            • J. Gallo: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gallo walked
            • A. Cabrera: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Cabrera struck out swinging
            • End of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • M. Minor Pitching:
            • T. White: White grounded out to pitcher
            • M. Stassi: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Stassi flied out to deep right
            • J. Reddick: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Strike swinging, Reddick struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Josh James relieved Gerrit Cole
            • R. Guzman: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Guzman flied out to left
            • J. Mathis: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Mathis struck out looking
            • S. Choo: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Choo grounded out to first
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • M. Minor Pitching:
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Bregman singled to center
            • M. Brantley: Brantley flied out to right
            • C. Correa: Ball, Correa popped out to second
            • Y. Gurriel: Foul, Gurriel lined out to second
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • G. Cole Pitching:
            • J. Gallo: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Gallo struck out swinging
            • A. Cabrera: Ball, Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Cabrera struck out swinging
            • H. Pence: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Pence grounded out to pitcher
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • M. Minor Pitching:
            • M. Stassi: Ball, Strike swinging, Stassi safe at first on 3rd baseman Cabrera throwing error
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Ball, Reddick grounded out to shortstop, Stassi out at second
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Springer safe at first on shortstop Andrus fielding error
            • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Altuve struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 2 Errors)
            • G. Cole Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Choo walked
            • R. Odor: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Odor popped out to third
            • E. Andrus: Ball, Choo stole second, Andrus lined out to second
            • N. Mazara: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Mazara flied out to center
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • M. Minor Pitching:
            • M. Brantley: Brantley lined out to left
            • C. Correa: Ball, Correa doubled to deep left
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gurriel walked
            • T. White: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, White grounded out to shortstop, Gurriel out at second
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • G. Cole Pitching:
            • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Mazara struck out swinging
            • J. Gallo: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Gallo walked
            • A. Cabrera: Cabrera grounded out to first, Gallo to second
            • H. Pence: Strike swinging, Pence singled to right, Gallo scored
            • R. Guzman: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Guzman doubled to left center, Pence scored
            • J. Mathis: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Mathis struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • M. Minor Pitching:
            • J. Reddick: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Reddick struck out swinging
            • G. Springer: Springer singled to left
            • J. Altuve: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Springer picked off at second, pitcher to first to shortstop, Strike swinging, Altuve reached on an infield single to third
            • A. Bregman: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Bregman struck out looking
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • G. Cole Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Choo lined out to right
            • R. Odor: Foul, Ball, Odor grounded out to shortstop
            • E. Andrus: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Andrus grounded out to second
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • M. Minor Pitching:
            • C. Correa: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gurriel fouled out to shortstop
            • T. White: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, White doubled to left center
            • M. Stassi: Stassi popped out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • G. Cole Pitching:
            • H. Pence: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Pence lined out to right
            • R. Guzman: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Guzman struck out swinging
            • J. Mathis: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Mathis struck out looking
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • M. Minor Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Springer walked
            • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Altuve struck out looking
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike looking, Bregman popped out to second
            • M. Brantley: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul tip, Brantley struck out on foul tip
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • G. Cole Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Choo struck out looking
            • R. Odor: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Odor struck out swinging
            • E. Andrus: Andrus singled to right
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Andrus stole second, Mazara reached on an infield single to second, Andrus scored
            • J. Gallo: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gallo walked, Mazara to second
            • A. Cabrera: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Cabrera struck out swinging
            • End of the 1st (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)