The Sunday matinee at Minute Maid Park had more mood swings than Hillary on Election Night. The Astros, on a three-game losing streak, continued to rely on the long ball to get tallies on the scoreboard. Finally, the Astros used the least offensive manner to cross the plate with the winning run in the 12th inning for a 5-4 victory over the Royals before 32,411 fans. Houston salvaged one win in the series to close the homestand at 4-3.
Gattis: Takes his game-winning walk
(c) Associated Press
George Springer smashed his fourth homer of the young season to lead off the bottom of the first on the first pitch from Nate Karns into the bullpen in right center. Kansas City's Salvador Perez answered with his third homer of the series to tie the game against Lance McCullers in the second.
KC broke the tie in the fifth when Pablo Orlando was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a sacrifice bunt. Mike Moustakas added a leadoff homer in the sixth for a 3-1 advantage.
McCullers struck out ten batters in seven innings as he allowed three runs on six hits. Karns gave up one run in 5-2/3rds innings on six hits but his lead did not last long.
After Evan Gattis walked against Travis Wood to open the seventh, Marwin Gonzalez ripped his third homer to tie the score. All three of Marwin's big flies this season have come in the same games that Springer has gone deep.
It looked like Royals late-inning magic wood triumph yet again when Brandon Moss took Chris Devenski deep in the ninth for a 4-3 lead however Jake Marisnick, a late-inning substitute, answered with a one-out homer to left against their closer, Kelvin Herrera. That knotted the game again at 4-4 going into extra innings.
Devenski continued to pitch and ended with seven strikeouts in four innings. He held Kansas City in check until the 12th when Springer opened with an infield hit against Matt Strahm. After a bunt, Jose Altuve was intentionally walked. Brian McCann fouled off five straight pitches before drawing a two-out walk to load the bases. Gattis drew the count full against Strahm and held back as the decisive pitch sailed high for ball four and the end of the game.
Houston remains a game behind the Angels for second place in the division as they make their first road trip of the season. Off to 1-6 Seattle they will go as Charlie Morton (0-0) gets his second look at the Mariners after a no-decision in that dramatic 13-inning comeback win last Wednesday. He'll duel against lefty James Paxton (0-0) for the second time. The Monday home opener at Safeco Field is a 4:10 Central start back in Texas.
- Bob Hulsey