Astros' sweep makes it clear the Rangers are sellers

Stefan Stevenson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers are making this easy for general manager Jon Daniels.

The Rangers' losing streak reached seven games Sunday afternoon as the Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep with a 5-3 win at Minute Maid Park.

Texas has been swept twice in its past two trips to Houston, including a four-game sweep in early May. Both have come after the Rangers started the season 4-2 against the Astros.

But those good vibes are long gone. Texas is now just one game above .500 and has gone from a team in wild card contention and wondering whether it was buyers or sellers with the pending, July 31 trade deadline approaching to obvious sellers.

The Astros hit nine home runs and five doubles in the series, including two by Michael Brantley on Sunday. Brantley's two-run homer in the first against Lance Lynn got the scoring started. He later homered against Chris Martin in the eighth.

Lynn regrouped and retired 12 of the next 14 batters he faced, including 10 on strikeouts. But Jose Altuve's solo homer snapped that string in the fifth. Yordan Alvarez later drove in Alex Bregman in the inning to push Houston's lead to 4-1.

Lynn allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks. He tied a career high with 12 strikeouts.

Rangers hitters struck out 41 times in the series and lead the majors with 1,007.

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Joey Gallo, who had an All-Star first half, has struggled since the break. In the three-game set against Houston, he was 0 for 12 with nine strikeouts, including four on Sunday. He's 3 for 30 with 17 strikeouts since the break.

But he's not the only one who is struggling. Nomar Mazara, who homered in the sixth, is 4 for 34 with three RBIs in his past nine games.

Rougned Odor is 3 for 29 with 13 strikeouts in his past eight games after showing signs of snapping out of a season-long offensive struggle. He's batting .189 for the season.

Texas starts a three-game series against the Mariners in Seattle on Monday before finishing the trip with four against the Athletics in Oakland.

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