ST29: Rangers beat Astros in Houston exhibition game, 9-3

Man, Enron was gorgeous! Can’t wait for my trip down there in September to see an Astros / Pirates game. I initially did not like the choice of color for the new Astros logo & uniforms, but seeing it live in action coupled with their new park – it’s an excellent choice. Their uniforms really match the look of the new park – especially the dirt, which my wife commented looked more like clay than dirt. I’m headed down there in September for a game, and I have to say, I’m looking forward to it even more so now than I was before – Enron looked awesome on TV, and I bet it’s a hell of a lot better in person. One thing doesn’t look good – that’s Jeff Bagwell’s ZZ Top impression. Just looks BAD. Although I’m sure they’ll get some promotions out of it.
Esteban Loaiza started off the game, and looked good through the first two innings, not allowing a whole lot of activity. However, the third, he didn’t do as well, allowing three runs to tie the game, but that was it. He came back and pitched and excellent fourth and fifth. The final four innings were taken up by Venafro, Crabtree, Munoz, & Zimmerman, all who needed one last look see before the season started. Overall, and excellently pitched game by Texas, which is supposed to be our forte this year.
Offensively, it was the long ball. Royce Clayton hit two home runs, one down each side of the park – the first one out to left, almost cleared the train tracks and hit the big window over left field. His second went over the right field wall, and between the two, that was 5 RBI’s. The other jack was from David Segui, a three run blast, accounting for 3 more of the runs. Only one run was not from a long ball in Houston.
Overall, another great game by us – long balls providing the offense, good to great pitching, and a beautiful ballpark. About the only thing I would have liked more was for the game the actually count – that comes on Monday. :)