Astros, Rangers shuffle interleague series to Tampa

HOUSTON -- With the remnants of Hurricane Harvey continuing to ravage the Gulf Coast with devastating flooding crippling the entire region, the Houston Astros will play their three-game series against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., starting on Tuesday night.

The Astros (79-51) were scheduled to host the Rangers (64-66) at Minute Maid Park but rains continued to pound the Houston metropolitan area on Monday, facilitating a shift in venues. The Astros are considering relocating their pending weekend interleague set with the New York Mets to Tropicana Field as well, pending the weather conditions in Houston later this week.

"The safety of our fans, players and staff remain our main priority," Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said. "We are extremely grateful to the Tampa Bay Rays organization for allowing us to use their facility. We'll make a decision on this weekend's series vs. the Mets in the upcoming days as we continue to monitor the conditions.

"In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the hurricane."

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. Houston is 8-6 since a season-worst five-game losing skid, and the Astros admitted to dealing with divided attention as conditions in Houston deteriorated during their series with the Angels.

"We have families that are stuck, we have families that are in closets worried about tornadoes, a lot of heavy hearts and that's not even counting what we don't know," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said after the win and prior to flying to Dallas instead of returning home.

"It's a game and we played hard and there's a lot of people going through a lot in the world, but I think our guys were really concerned and continue to be concerned. This is not going to be solved by one win, this is not going to be solved overnight and we want our people to be safe."

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced that they will jointly donate $1 million to various relief efforts to help offset the damage throughout the state of Texas resulting from the catastrophic storm, including to the American Red Cross.

Right-hander Mike Fiers (8-8, 4.17 ERA) will start for the Astros against Rangers left-hander Martin Perez (9-10, 5.00).

Fiers is 0-2 with a 7.57 ERA over five career games (four starts) against Texas, including an 8-3 loss on Aug. 12 in which he allowed six runs over four innings.

Perez is 5-4 with a 3.05 ERA over 10 career starts against the Astros. He dropped a 7-2 decision at home to Houston on June 4, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings.

The Rangers are donating proceeds from the Texas 2 Split 50/50 Raffle for all three games of their upcoming weekend series with the Angels to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief.

"The thoughts of the Texas Rangers organization are with all the individuals who have been affected by this devastating weather in South Texas and the Houston area," said Neil Leibman, Rangers ownership committee chairman. "We pray for their safety in these very difficult circumstances."
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