Astros, Rangers continue series in Florida with hearts in Texas

Astros, Rangers continue series in Florida with hearts in Texas”

Astros players and fans expressed their appreciation Tuesday night for Tampa Bay's willingness to host this week's series against the Texas Rangers.

After the league announced the series was being moved to Florida, Astros president Reid Ryan issued a statement that some took as a veiled shot at the Rangers. You guys have our home series.

Major League Baseball officials have inquired about the availability of the Trop as a neutral-site venue for the three-game series, which is slated to start Tuesday, and the Rays have said they are ready to help if needed.

They eventually chose to play on a neutral field because the Astros do not want to play all six games giving the Rangers home field advantage that many times. Including their series last weekend in Anaheim, Calif., they will have played 19 consecutive games away from Houston before their next game at Minute Maid Park on September 15. In defending his team, however, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the possibility of gaining an extra home series did not influence his decision to hold on to the September showdown. The Astros have stated that their upcoming series against the New York Mets, which begins on Friday, may also be relocated to Tropicana Field, but that a final decision on those games will not be made until later this week. Houston already has the A.L. West division wrapped up but is now faced with an 18-game road trip due to the hurricane.

Rodney Monk, who lives south of Austin, said he also came to the game during his work trip in St Petersburg to support his home state. The next home series for the Astros comes against the Texas Rangers, a divisional rival that has their own playoff aspirations.

After weighing the best options for a neutral site to host the intra-division matchup between the Astros and Rangers, MLB decided on Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Wednesday game will have a national ESPN audience, bringing more attention to the bad tragedy still unfolding in Houston. The Astros will be considered the home team and will bat in the bottom half of each inning.

While the Astros field, Minute Maid Park, hasn't suffered any damages according to Sports Illustrated, the game needed a change of venue for obvious reasons.

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 revenues from this three-game series are being donated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

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