The Astros have led the Rangers by more than 10 games at multiple points this season but Texas continues to chip away at the deficit.

MLB wrap: Rangers, Mike Minor continue to chip away at Astros' division lead

The Astros have led the Rangers by more than 10 games at multiple points this season but Texas continues to chip away at the deficit.

With Texas' 4-1 win over the Tigers on Wednesday, the Rangers now trail Houston by 5 1/2 games in the American League West.

As recently as June 4, the Astros held a 10-game lead on the Rangers for the division lead, but, thanks to a 14-8 run since that date for Texas and a recent seven-game losing streak for Houston, that lead keeps getting smaller and smaller.

And, Mike Minor has been a huge part of the Rangers' comeback attempt. He is 5-0 since June 5, allowing a mere seven earned runs in 37 innings pitched (1.70 ERA).

He has pitched eight or more innings in three of those starts and tossed a complete game in Wednesday's win while allowing just one run.

If the Rangers are able to erase this deficit completely — which is still a very difficult task — Minor will have been an absolutely huge part of it.

As for Houston, Astros fans booed starter Framber Valdez off the mound after he allowed six earned runs in three innings of work in a 14-2 loss to the Pirates.

Valdez had never allowed a run in the first, second or third innings in his career coming into Wednesday's game, but allowed two in each in this loss.

Studs of the Night

Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes went 2 for 5 with two home runs and three RBIs in San Diego's 10-5 win over the Orioles.

Jose Abreu went 3 for 5 with four RBIs and hit a two-run homer off Red Sox closer Matt Barnes which gave Chicago an 8-7 lead in the ninth it wouldn't give back.

Rockies outfielder David Dahl went 2 for 5 with a grand slam in Colorado's 6-3 win over the Giants.

Dud of the Night

Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in St. Louis' 2-0 loss to the Athletics. He hasn't been the team's lone disappointment, though. St. Louis has the worst OPS in MLB over the last 30 days.


Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford made an awesome play up the middle.

What's Next

Dodgers (55-27) at Rockies (42-38), 8:40 p.m. ET — The Dodgers are awesome yes, but they are more than susceptible on the road. Los Angeles is 55-27 on the season but a mere 21-18 away from home. Why is their split so bad? We have no idea, but if the Rockies want to have any chance to close the gap in the division with their rivals, they'll have to take advantage of having home-field advantage in this four-game series.

Hernandez to miss one spring start

Felix Hernandez injury update: Mariners ace expected to miss only one spring start

Hernandez left Monday's game against the Cubs after being struck in the pitching arm by a line drive, though he avoided serious injury.

Making sense of 2018 MLB free agent

MLB free agency 2018: Where should the top remaining players end up?

A number of MLB free agents have finally found a home this offseason, but there are still plenty of intriguing players still out there.

Coach fired for marijuana stance

Texas college coach fired for rebuffing recruit over Colorado’s marijuana law

Texas Wesleyan baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat was fired for telling a recruit the team was not interested in players from Colorado.

Clark sounds off on issues

MLBPA union head Tony Clark sounds off on tanking, pace of play

Tony Clark said commissioner Rob Manfred made his changes to pace of play without any approval from the MLBPA.

Steinbrenner says people are scared

Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner: 'People are concerned about us'

With the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, some are calling the Yankees "The Evil Empire" once again, and Steinbrenner is OK with that.