Giles and McCann celebrate comeback win
(c) Associated Press
Sunday afternoon's Astros game against the Tampa Bay Rays got off to an inauspicious start when the Rays put four runs on the board in the first inning against Houston starter Joe Musgrove. But the second-year hurler bounced back in a big, big way, keeping the Rays completely hitless over the next five innings.
Meanwhile, the Astros offense continued to chip away all afternoon. Carlos Correa cut the lead in half in the third inning. His two-run homer to the opposite field broke Carlos out of a personal 0-for-18 slump. Jose Altuve made it 4-3 in the fifth when he blasted his second home run in as many days -- a no-doubter into the seats in left-center.
Both bullpens posted zeroes across the Tropicana Field scoreboard until the ninth. That's when the red-hot Yulieski Gurriel started a rally with a base hit to lead off the inning. Gurriel advanced to second on Norichika Aoki's grounder to the right side and moved to third on a subsequent passed ball charged to Jesus Sucre. Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis delivered the tying run with a sacrifice fly to rightfield as Gurriel slid home safely just ahead of the throw and tag. The run was the first allowed all season by Tampa closer Alex Colome, who came up short in an effort to secure a six-out save.
The Astros didn't waste any time in extra innings. Carlos Beltran led off the tenth by drawing a walk against new pitcher Ryan Garton. Altuve followed with a sharp single to left to put runners at first and second. Correa just missed hitting his second homer of the day, but his drive to deep centerfield was good enough to advance Beltran to third base. Brian McCann drove in the go-ahead run with a solid single to right and that man Gurriel added an insurance tally with a liner up the middle.
Ken Giles took care of business in the bottom half of the inning, notching his fifth save of the season and securing the win for Luke Gregerson. The Astros now head into an off-day on Monday feeling good about a big win that was the definition of a team effort.
Outfielder Jake Marisnick joins George Springer on the list of the walking wounded after a collision with the centerfield wall forced Jake to leave the game early. Marisnick was reported to be exhibiting concussion-like symptoms and will be re-evaluated over the next couple of days. Both players are currently listed as day-to-day, but if one has to go on the disabled list, Teoscar Hernandez has been swinging a hot bat at AAA Fresno and would seem to be the most likely replacement.
- Greg Thurston