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  W: W. Miley (3-2)   L: M. Minor (3-3)   S: R. Osuna (9)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, May 9, 2019
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 26,657

Rangers, Astros resume Lone Star Series

Acutely aware of the value Michael Brantley provides his lineup and the injury history that has prevented the outfielder from serving as a perennial MVP candidate, Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch is displaying little reluctance in utilizing the 31-year-old veteran as his designated hitter this season.

When the Astros open a four-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers on Thursday, Brantley might fill another role -- pinch hitter -- as he won't be in the starting lineup, according to Hinch.

Brantley made his sixth start as the DH in the Astros' 9-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday and continued to produce in that role, finishing 2-for-3 with a walk, three RBIs and his fifth career multi-homer game.

Normally Houston's left fielder, Brantley is 11-for-23 (.478) with three homers and seven RBIs as a designated hitter.

Brantley homered to right field in the third and fourth innings to run his season total to nine long balls.

"He's a pretty good DH, and I remind him every time he does something positive," Hinch said. "I don't care if it's a walk or a hit or a homer. And the funny part about it is going into the game he knew he was off (Thursday), so mentally he's in a good place, physically he's in a good place.

"We're going to continue to monitor him and his workload. The DH days are piling up for him and so are the numbers."

Left-hander Wade Miley (2-2, 3.20 ERA) will start the series opener for the Astros. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 23 consecutive starts.

Miley surrendered two runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts over six innings in his latest start, a 14-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in Monterrey, Mexico, on Saturday. That marked his third quality start in his past four appearances.

Miley is 2-5 with a 5.86 ERA over nine career starts against Texas. He needs two strikeouts to reach 1,000 in his career overall.

The Rangers will counter with left-hander Mike Minor (3-2, 2.40 ERA). Minor twirled seven shutout innings against the Astros on April 3, recording seven strikeouts against five hits and two walks in a 4-0 victory.

Minor has allowed one earned run on 10 hits and three walks with 22 strikeouts over his past two starts, covering 15 innings. He pitched to a 0.60 ERA during that stretch.

He is 3-2 with a 4.15 ERA over 12 career appearances (nine starts) against Houston.

In a somewhat surprising move Wednesday, the Rangers optioned center fielder Delino DeShields to Triple-A Nashville in advance of first baseman Ronald Guzman returning to the lineup.

With Danny Santana and Logan Forsythe both out of options and the Rangers reticent to trim their bullpen, DeShields was the odd man out. Selected by Texas from the Astros in the 2014 Rule 5 draft, DeShields had a slash line of .184/.324/.287 over 29 games and 107 plate appearances this year.

"At this point in time, we are choosing to keep a deeper bullpen and didn't want to cut ties permanently with anyone," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said via statement. "We expect Delino will play every day in Nashville, get himself going and be ready to help us again this year."

Joey Gallo, primarily the Rangers' left fielder this season, is expected to replace DeShields in center.

The Rangers and Astros played two series in Arlington, Texas, last month, with Texas taking two of three each time.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 9, 2019

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