Astros win extra innings thriller 4-3 against Texas

HOUSTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 07: Kyle Tucker #30 of the Houston Astros reacts after hitting a two run home run during the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on September 07, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Astros win extra innings thriller 4-3 against Texas

Kyle Tucker and Company would not let Texas beat them on consecutive nights as they won an extra-innings thriller 4-3 on a walk-off wild pitch.

It took a while to get there.

Cristian Javier came into tonight’s game with 6 career starts against the Texas Rangers and his record against them was 1-1, with a 2.19 ERA, with an opponent batting average of .123, and a WHIP of .065. But that all changed in the very first inning when he gave up a home run to Nathaniel Lowe, his 24th of the year to make it 1-0 Rangers. Javier quickly bounced back as he struck out the side. The Astros tried to answer back in the next inning, but the Astros bats could not do anything of merit.

The Rangers struck again in the 3rd inning when Marcus Semien drove in a run on an RBI single to make it 2-0 Rangers. The Rangers threatened to add more as Nathaniel Lowe who had homered in the first, got on base to put runners at the corners with two outs. Kole Calhoun drove in Marcus Semien on the next pitch to make it 3-0 Rangers.

The Astros threatened in the bottom of the inning, but a costly base running error by Christian Vázquez, who tried to steal third with two outs ended any chance of the Astros putting a dent in the scoreboard.

The Astros finally got on the board in the 4th inning after a Kyle Tucker walk, who then stole second base on a wild pitch by Rangers pitcher Brett Martin, who relieved Cole Ragans earlier in the game. Yuli Gurriel drove in Tucker on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 Rangers.

After allowing walks to Nathaniel Lowe and Leody Taveras in the sixth inning, Cristian Javier ended his night going 5 innings, with 4 hits, 3 runs, and 8 strikeouts. Seth Martinez came to relieve Javier and promptly ended the inning by grounding out Leody Taveras and flying out Sam Huff.

The Astros bats finally came to life in the 7th inning, when Alex Bregman singled on a sharp line drive to left field. Then Kyle Tucker launched a home run (his 24th) to right field to tie the game up at 3.

Tucker was put up to the task again in the 8th inning with two men on and the possibility of giving the Astros the lead, but after a fierce pitching battle with Texas reliever Jesus Tinico, Tucker flew out to end the Astros threat.

In the 9th inning, Gurriel was the first to try and give the Astros the win but was struck out on a questionable third strike call in the bottom of the strike zone. Chas McCormick was next but flew out for the second out of the inning. Vázquez was the Astros last hope for not going into extras but flew out to end the inning.

In the 10th inning with a man already on second per MLB rules, the Rangers had Bubba Thompson at the plate, who tried to bunt to advance the runner, but Hector Neris made a spectacular play off the mound to record the out. Even with the runner at second, the Astros avoided trouble and now it was their turn to end the game once and for all.

In the bottom of the 10th, Mauricio Dubon sacrifice bunted to advance Vazquez to third to give the Astros the game-winning run. Texas proceeded to walk Jose Altuve in favor of Jeremy Peña, who hit an infield single, but Vazquez got caught in a run down at third to record the second out of the inning. After an intentional walk to Alvarez to load the bases, Alex Bregman was at the plate when a wild pitch was thrown and Jose Altuve ran home to win the game.

News and Notes

  • Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that Justin Verlander is doing well with his rehab but is still going to
    “‘proceed with caution” and is in no rush to return to the team given the performance of the starting rotation so far and the Astros lead in the American League West.
  • Kade Kistner of Inside The Astros is reporting that Ryan Pressly is not ready to return from the injured list quite yet. Pressly “didn’t feel right” according to Astros manager Dusty Baker, but will continue a throwing program.
  • Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart tweeted that there is a possibility that Hunter Brown could be pitching in his hometown of Detroit on Tuesday.

The Astros will take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday night. The pitching matchup will be Lance McCullers (2-1, 2.08 ERA) vs. Michael Lorenzen (6-6, 4.94 ERA). First pitch is at 7:10 CDT

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