1986 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History

Feb 10 - Astros extend a spring training invitation to reliever Aurelio Lopez. The righthander rewards them with three wins and seven saves during their division-title season.

Feb 28 - Former Astros Joaquin Andujar, Enos Cabell and Jeff Leonard are among eleven players suspended by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth in the aftermath of the drug-dealing trial of Curtis Strong in Pittsburgh. Future Astro Dale Berra is also suspended. All the players agree to a stiff fine, community service and random drug tests in exchange for lifting the suspensions.

Mar 22 - Astros lose to the Rangers, 6-2, their ninth loss in the past ten games. They provide as many errors as hits. Pressure is put on rookie manager Hal Lanier to show some imporvement. Pre-season forecasts predict the Astros will do no better than fourth place in the Western Division.

Mar 31 - Pitcher Mark Ross is traded for himself. Ross was dealt to St. Louis in December for a player to be named later. After no agreement could be reached, that player to be named became Mark Ross.

Apr 22 - Alan Ashby homers off Atlanta's Duane Ward in the ninth for a 3-2 triumph. Charley Kerfeld, wearing his lucky Jetsons tee-shirt under his jersey, is the winning pitcher.

Apr 23 - Down 2-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the ninth, Houston rallies for a 3-2 triumph in Atlanta. Craig Reynolds gets the game-winner with a two-run single off Bruce Sutter.

May 02 - Bob Knepper runs his record to 5-0 with a 6-1 victory at chilly Montreal. Manager Hal Lanier has been using a three-man rotation of Knepper, Mike Scott and Nolan Ryan to get the Astros off to a fast start.

May 10 - Glenn Davis swats two home runs and a double in leading a 6-3 triumph at Pittsburgh. Rick Rhoden and Bob Walk are his victims. Kevin Bass adds a solo shot to the winning effort.

May 18 - Five Cubs suffer food poisoning prior to a 5-2 Chicago victory at the Astrodome. All had eaten hamburgers and bad mayo is the prime suspect. Pitcher Rick Sutcliffe is hospitalized.

Jun 23 - Glenn Davis slugs a two-run shot off Ted Power in the bottom of the ninth to shock the Reds, 7-6. Davis had earlier singled home a run. Larry Andersen is the winning pitcher without officially facing a batter. He tags out Buddy Bell at the plate after tossing a wild pitch that ends a ninth-inning Cincinnati threat.

Jun 29 - Houston regains first place in a 2-1 nailbiter over Fernando Valenzuela and the Dodgers. Craig Shipley and Alex Trevino team up for the only Dodger run but they give it back in the seventh when a bad throw by Shipley puts Phil Garner aboard then a dropped third strike by Trevino puts Glenn Davis on base. Kevin Bass drives in Garner then Jose Cruz dribbles a 20-foot roller that Valenzuela must eat while the winning run scores.

Jul 02 - Denny Walling blasts two home runs and drives in six on a four-hit afternoon to bomb the Padres, 8-1. That's plenty for Mike Scott who scatters six hits while striking out just three.

Jul 07 - Glenn Davis drills two home runs and drives in five as the Astros put a 12-1 hurt on the Expos. Kevin Bass caps the scoring with a grand slam. Mike Scott, soon to be named to the N.L. All-Star team, pockets the easy victory.

Jul 15 - The Astrodome hosts its second and last All-Star Game, a 3-2 American League victory. Houston fans could cheer hometown stars Glenn Davis, Kevin Bass, Mike Scott and Dave Smith . They could also cheer Boston's Roger Clemens, another Texas legend, who is the winning pitcher and the game's Most Valuable Player.

Jul 19 - Rick Aguilera, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda and Tim Teufel are arrested in Houston after an early-morning fight with off-duty police officers. All are released in time for their scheduled game that evening. Mike Scott takes a two-hitter into the ninth but New York rallies to tie behind homers from Len Dykstra and Darryl Strawberry. With two out in the ninth, Craig Reynolds drills a Roger McDowell fastball into the right field seats to send the crowd home happy.

Jul 20 - Astros take three-of-four from New York with a wild 9-8 marathon in 15 innings. Houston's bullpen blows leads of 4-2 and 8-5 late to put the game into overtime. Bill Doran beats Keith Hernandez' throw to the plate for the game-winner. Bob Knepper wins in relief.

Jul 22 - A pitcher's duel in the Dome. Nolan Ryan allows one hit in 9-1/3rd innings, striking out 14, but Montreal's Floyd Youmans yields just two hits and fans eight. Glenn Davis breaks the stalemate with a blast off Youmans into the left field seats for a 1-0, ten-inning triumph. Dave Smith gets the win in relief.

Jul 24 - Kevin Bass has a 5-for-5 night to lead a 9-3 Houston win over the Phillies. The Astros put this one away early with eight runs in the third inning after winning the previous five games in their final at bat. Mike Scott fans 13 Philadelphians to notch his tenth victory.

Aug 05 - Trailing the Dodgers, 2-1, Houston explodes for four runs in the eighth and five more in the ninth for a 10-2 triumph. Denny Walling drills two home runs among his four hits. Billy Hatcher belts a grand slam and Enos Cabell also goes deep. The Astros notch their 60th win, holding a five-game lead in the NL West.

Aug 08 - Jose Cruz celebrates his 39th birthday with his 1,000th career RBI during a 5-0 blanking of San Diego. His two-run single caps a four-run sixth inning. Mike Scott goes the distance for his third shutout of the season. Scott leads the league in ERA (2.16) and strikeouts (217).

Aug 11 - In a nationally-televised game marred by several fielding and baserunning gaffes, the Astros rally to nip the Dodgers, 7-6. Alan Ashby's bases-loaded double in the ninth off Ken Howell is the game-winner. Jose Cruz ignites a two-run eighth with a solo shot off Tom Niedenfuer.

Aug 14 - Houston rallies for three in the eighth to stun Fernando Valenzuela and the Dodgers, 3-2. Valenzuela had held the Astros to two hits in seven frames before the uprising. Glenn Davis singles home Billy Hatcher with the game-winner.

Aug 24 - Jim Pankovits, filling in for an injured Bill Doran, goes 4-for-5 to lead the Astros past St. Louis, 5-1. Dickie Thon drives in two of the runs. Jim Deshaies and Aurelio Lopez team to scatter seven hits and strike out seven.

Aug 27 - Nolan Ryan wins his 250th career game, a 7-1 victory over the Cubs. He allows just one hit over six innings before turning it over to Charley Kerfeld. Phil Garner notches four hits. Houston steals six bases in the victory.

Sep 03 - Billy Hatcher homers in the 18th inning for an 8-7 victory in Chicago . The game had been suspended for darkness the previous day at 4-4 after 14 frames. Houston scores three in the 17th only to see the lead erased on a three-run bomb by Keith Moreland. In the regular game, Mike Scott fans twelve in an 8-2 victory, which includes a rare four-strikeout inning. The Astros push their lead to eight games over the Reds.

Sep 06 - A two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth by Jose Cruz off Todd Worrell stuns the Cardinals, 7-6. Glenn Davis also homers and drives in three. Charley Kerfeld wins his ninth in relief.

Sep 12 - Billy Hatcher's two-run single is the game-winner as the Astros stun the Padres, 5-3, with three runs in the ninth. Terry Puhl draws a bases-loaded walk off Goose Gossage to tie it. Dave Smith becomes the first Astro to reach 30 saves.

Sep 23 - Jim Deshaies sets a modern major league mark by striking out the first eight Dodgers en route to a 4-0 shutout. Tommy Lasorda tries to spoil the fun by sending up pinch-hitter Larry See instead of the pitcher for the ninth out. See pops up. Deshaies finishes with a two-hitter and ten strikeouts .

Sep 24 - Nolan Ryan follows Jim Deshaies' previous two-hitter with six innings of no-hit ball against the Giants before Mike Aldrete singles to break up the bid. Charley Kerfeld surrenders a hit in the ninth as the pair combine for a two-hit, 6-0 whitewash that clinches a tie for the N.L. West pennant. Glenn Davis belts his 30th home run of the season, the first Astro to hit that many since Jim Wynn in 1969.

Sep 25 - In the signature game in franchise history, Mike Scott no-hits the Giants as the Astros clinch the N.L. West crown . Scott fans 13 in the 2-0 victory. The win cements Scott's hold on the first Cy Young Award in team annals. Denny Walling breaks the scoreless game with a solo homer off Juan Berenguer in the fifth.

Oct 02 - Mike Scott strikes out eight batters in a 2-1 victory over the Giants, finishing the season with 306 strikeouts. His bid for a second consecutive no-hitter is broken up with a leadoff double in the seventh by Will Clark. Houston rallies with a run in the ninth then a solo homer by Bill Doran for the game-winner.

Oct 08 - Mike Scott outduels Dwight Gooden for a 1-0 victory at the Astrodome in Game One of the N.L.C.S. Scott fans 14 Mets on his way to a complete game shutout. Glenn Davis supplies all the offense with a second-inning home run . New York complains about Scott scuffing the ball but the umpires find nothing wrong. The next day, the Mets even the series with a 5-1 decision as Bob Ojeda outduels Nolan Ryan.

Oct 11 - Len Dykstra homers off Dave Smith in the bottom of the ninth to give the Mets a 6-5 decision over the Astros in New York. The Mets lead the best-of-seven N.L.C.S., 2-1. Houston had an early 4-0 advantage, keyed by a Bill Doran homer , but New York ties it with a three-run blast from Darryl Strawberry.

Oct 12 - Mike Scott tames the Mets again with a 3-1 triumph to even the N.L.C.S. at 2-2. Alan Ashby and Dickie Thon swat home runs to account for all of Houston's runs . While not as sharp as his Game One win, Scott continues to master New York with a complete-game three-hit, five-strikeout victory .

Oct 14 - Fred Brocklander's name becomes infamous in Houston as the Mets defeat the Astros in twelve innings, 2-1. Brocklander calls Craig Reynolds out at first for the third out while a teammate is crossing home plate. Replays show Reynolds beat the throw . Nolan Ryan is perfect until allowing a homer to Darryl Strawberry in the sixth to tie the game. Charley Kerfeld is the victim when Gary Carter drives home Wally Backman with the game-winner. New York leads the N.L.C.S., 3-2, as they fly back to Houston.

Oct 15 - In the one of the most thrilling games in baseball history, the Astros and Mets battle 16 innings at the Astrodome before the Mets prevail, 7-6, to win the National League pennant. Houston scores three in the first while Bob Knepper blanks New York for eight innings. The Mets rally to tie in the ninth and take the lead in the 14th. Billy Hatcher knots it again with a dramatic solo homer that hits the foul pole down the left field line . New York scores three more in the 16th but the Astros answer with two runs of their own. Finally, Kevin Bass strikes out with a runner aboard for the final out of the season.

Nov 05 - Hal Lanier is named National League Manager of the Year in his rookie season which saw the Astros the surprise winners of the Western Division. New York Mets skipper Davey Johnson finishes second.

Nov 11 - Mike Scott wins the N.L. Cy Young Award. Scott wins 18 games and leads the league in ERA (2.22) and strikeouts (306). Fernando Valenzuela of Los Angeles finishes second with the other nine of the 24 first-place votes.

Nov 16 - Astros purchase pitcher Rocky Childress from Philadelphia. He would post a 2-2 record over the next two seasons for Houston.

Dec 02 - Astros announce the firing of Gene Elston, play-by-play voice of the ballclub since 1962. Outcry from fans and the Houston media are swift but Elston moves on to do work for CBS Radio and write books. 20 years later, he receives the Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame.