31 August, 2017
For at least their three-game series against the Texas Rangers that begins Tuesday, the Astros will play as the home team at the domed Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., home to the Tampa Bay Rays, MLB announced Monday.
The Rangers are three games out of a playoffs spot, and moving their late-September series to Houston would haved forced them to play four straight road series down the stretch. Instead, they wanted to play all six games in Arlington.
Had Texas agreed to the swap, the team would have been on the road for four the last five series of the season from September 15-27. Houston already has the A.L. West division wrapped up but is now faced with an 18-game road trip due to the hurricane. "So we felt like getting out of Texas and going to a neutral site was in the best interest of our players and in the best interests for the integrity of the schedule this year". The Astros claimed a series victory in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend, winning the rubber match 7-5 on Sunday after scoring three runs in the eighth inning.
Major League Baseball and the players' union announced that they will jointly donate $1 million to the American Red Cross and other organizations providing relief efforts throughout Texas.More news: USA couple name their baby after total solar eclipse
Storm damage and aftermath in Houston could lead to the Astros hosting the Rangers at the Trop this week while the Rays are out of town.
Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers, shown during a 2015 game, criticized the Texas Rangers for not working out a deal to keep this week's games in Texas. That game was moved from Houston's NRG Stadium to the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, proving that these things can indeed be worked out. If that happens, the Astros will play 19 consecutive games away from their home park. Someday the Rangers might need something, and it's probably wise to wonder what the response might be from the Astros or from other Major League Baseball teams when that day comes. The Astros would be designated the home team in Arlington this week.
It remains unclear how long the Astros will be displaced, as Houston continues to be pounded by heavy rains as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
All ticket, concessions and parking sales from this three-game series are being donated to to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
The view outside prior to Game 4 of the World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas on October 26, 2006.