After the Rangers loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Alex Bregman that brought up Chas McCormick, reliever Brett Martin (0-1) uncorked a 1-2 pitch that bounced away, and Straw raced home from third.
“I was ready, especially with two strikes there,” Straw said. “I had a feeling they would bounce a breaking ball, so I stayed ready and sure enough, I saw it kind of get away a little bit. I was going to be overaggressive there with two strikes. Even if it was a little bit closer than that, I was probably going to go.”
Straw said he played against Martin in the minor leagues and had seen him throw his breaking ball in the dirt.
“He’s bounced it to me before,” Straw said. “It’s one of his really good pitches, so I was ready for that pitch. Sure enough, he threw a good one, and it just got away.”
Texas manager Chris Woodward said he knew with Straw’s speed, any ball in the dirt or any ball that got away would allow him to score.
Brooks Raley (1-2) stranded runners at the corners in the top of the inning to earn the win.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know how we came out with that one,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “The gods were with us even at the end with the wild pitch. We left a lot of men on base. We had a lot of opportunities. We had a whole lot more opportunities than they did. It would have been a downer to lose that game.”
José Altuve gave the Astros a 3-2 lead in the second with a three-run double down the left-field line.
Texas upped the lead to 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Jose Trevino in the second.
Joey Gallo tied it at 3 with an RBI groundout in the third.
Houston finished 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position, while the Rangers went 0 for 11.
“We fought,” Woodward said. “That’s one thing we did. We left a ton of guys on base. … We just couldn’t get the big hit.”
Javier allowed three runs and four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. The right-hander retired 13 straight during one stretch.
Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz permitted three runs and eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks in five innings.
Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel was out of the lineup but feeling better, Baker said. Gurriel left Wednesday’s game due to illness. “He’s going through the health and safety protocols, but he’s been cleared to work out today and see how he feels,” Baker said, adding he did not think it was COVID-19 related and that Gurriel had received his vaccination shots. … RHP José Urquidy had an MRI after exiting Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning with posterior shoulder discomfort. … LHP Framber Valdez (left index finger fracture) will throw a bullpen Friday at Minute Maid Park before possibly heading out on a rehab assignment, Baker said.
Rangers: LHP Wes Benjamin (0-1, 4.76 ERA) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Friday to make his first start of the season. Benjamin has appeared in three games for the Rangers out of the bullpen this season, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings before being optioned on April 17.
Astros: RHP Zack Greinke (2-1, 4.23) will look to rebound after his third straight four-inning outing on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Greinke was tagged for four runs and nine hits by Toronto.
Valdez expected to start as Houston hosts Minnesota
Minnesota Twins (45-63, fifth in the AL Central) vs. Houston Astros (65-43, first in the AL West)
Crowe, Pirates to face Gray, Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates (41-67, fifth in the NL Central) vs. Cincinnati Reds (57-51, second in the NL Central)
Skubal scheduled to start as Detroit hosts Boston
Boston Red Sox (64-45, second in the AL East) vs. Detroit Tigers (52-58, third in the AL Central)
New York to visit Miami Thursday
New York Mets (56-51, first in the NL East) vs. Miami Marlins (46-62, fifth in the NL East)
Howard scheduled to start as Texas hosts Los Angeles
Los Angeles Angels (54-54, fourth in the AL West) vs. Texas Rangers (39-69, fifth in the AL West)
Ross scheduled to start for Washington against Philadelphia
Philadelphia Phillies (55-53, second in the NL East) vs. Washington Nationals (49-59, fourth in the NL East)