Yovani Gallardo didn't have the bounce-back start the Texas Rangers would've liked to have seen from him on Tuesday night against the first-place Astros.
With that said, he left the game with a lead and put his team in position to win, giving up three earned runs on four hits and two walks in five-plus innings of work. It was far from a gem, and far from the Gallardo we saw in June when he had a streak of 30-plus scoreless innings.
But it was good enough to earn his first win since June and helped him bounce back from a string of three really bad starts.
The problem for Gallardo, once again, was efficiency. He walked only two batters, but he pitched deep into counts and by the time he left with no outs in the sixth, he'd already thrown 98 pitches — pretty much his limit of around 100 pitches before he begins to fall off dramatically.
The good news? The Rangers now have a legitimate ace in Cole Hamels and don't need Gallardo to carry that burden.
If he can give the Rangers a chance to win every game he starts, which he'd done pretty much all year until this recent run of three bad starts leading up to Tuesday's, that'll be enough for the Rangers.