losangelesnewstoday.com May 26, 2018

Texas Rangers Refusing To Switch Series With Houston Astros

31 August 2017, 01:15 | Maryann Sutton

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 Astros have not played in Houston since August 24, and if the Mets series gets moved to St. Petersburg, their string of games away from home will stretch to 19.

Reid Ryan, Astros president, said the team asked its Texas neighbor to swap their two remaining home series. The Rangers refused to switch the home game series against the Astros. They wanted all six of our games at their park. The team also had concern about the fans who bought tickets for their September series. "We had to look at our players' best interest and we had to look at the integrity of the schedule".

This isn't the first time the Astros have been forced to play home games far away from home.

The Astros' announcement Tuesday came around the same time the Rangers said they would donate $1 million to relief efforts.

The Astros offered flipping this week's home series for their scheduled visit to Arlington on September 25-27, but the Rangers declined. But that would have left Rangers' ticket holders for those games barely 24 hours to make arrangements to attend games this week.

The Astros sent out a release Monday afternoon saying determination will be made later this week regarding the Mets series, but Tropicana Field is in play.

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The Wednesday game will have a national ESPN audience, bringing more attention to the bad tragedy still unfolding in Houston.

On the baseball side of things, it would also create a two-week road trip for the Rangers, who are still in the race for the final wild card spot in the American League.

Crane added that the team is "committed to doing our part" to help the thousands of residents affected by the storm and that he will donate four million dollars to relief efforts.

As the city of Houston deals with the catastrophic impacts of Harvey, the Astros found a new home in Tampa Bay. The Rangers could have agreed to host this week's 3-game series, then the September 25-27 series between the teams would be switched to Minute Maid Park.

Major League Baseball announced the schedule change on Monday and said the Astros "will be considered the home team and will bat last".

Sources said moving the series to Citi Field, with the Astros officially designated as the home team, had been a possibility early in deliberations, but as talks continued, that option became increasingly unlikely.

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