A.J. Hinch conceded it was difficult to concentrate on baseball.
Like the rest of the Astros and Rangers who traveled halfway across the country to play a three-game series relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida, because of Hurricane Harvey (now a tropical storm), the Houston manager had mixed emotions about being at Tropicana Field Tuesday night.
The intrastate rivals settled on meeting in St. Petersburg — home of the Tampa Bay Rays — after the Rangers refused to swap home series and stick themselves with a longer road trip next month. The Rangers drew criticism on social media.
The Rangers won Tuesday night’s game, 12-2, with Shin-Soo Choo driving in four runs, Adrian Beltre driving in three and Elvis Andrus collecting four hits. Attendance was 3,485, all at $10 general admission, and all proceeds from the series were to go to aid victims back in Texas.
“It’s hard to imagine playing. It’s hard to imagine not playing,” Hinch said. “They’re going to be played at some time. Given that we’re safe and out of the area and out of danger, I understand . . . Obviously, it’s out of our hands. We understand the magnitude of what’s going on back home.”
Astros owner Jim Crane and the Astros’ foundation pledged $4 million to relief efforts, and MLB also contributed, joining with the players association to donate $1 million to the Red Cross and relief organizations chosen by the players. The Rangers announced that their ownership and foundation had pledged $1 million to the cause.
Jay Bruce pledges $100G
Indians outfielder Jay Bruce has pledged to donate up to $100,000 to help victims of the hurricane. Bruce, a former Met, is from Beaumont, Texas.
Watt fund hits $4M
J.J. Watt, who started a fundraising page that has collected more than $4 million, reiterated his stance that tomorrow’s preseason game between his Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys should have been scrapped instead of moved to Arlington, Texas, Thursday night.
Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk contributed $1 million to Watt’s fund. The Texans and owner Bob McNair donated $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund. The NFL Foundation said it would match the $1-million donation, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family pledged to match Red Cross donations up to $1 million.
Rockets kick in $10M
The Houston Rockets and owner Leslie Alexander upped their donation to hurricane relief efforts to $10 million. The NBA joined with the players association to give $1 million.
Texans linebacker Brian Cushing donated $50,000 to the USO Houston . . . Angels star Mike Trout donated $27,000 to the Red Cross . . . Buffalo defensive end Jerry Hughes, who is from Sugar Land, Texas, has donated $25,000, plus an additional $5,000 for each sack he makes this season.