Brian McCann smacked a three-run triple over the outreached glove of a leaping Mike Trout in the eighth inning Sunday to overtake the Angels of Anaheim, 7-5, in the bright California sunshine - seemingly a million miles away from the rain, winds, gloom and flooding back in Houston.
McCann: Watches triple in flight
(c) Associated Press
The Astros flew back to Texas afterwards but are unsure if their next game will be in Houston, Arlington or maybe Tampa. The unprecedented rains and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey is taxing the infrastructure of Southeast Texas to the point where playing at Minute Maid Park would be unthinkable even if the park itself could dry out in time for Tuesday's night's opener against the Rangers.
The remnants of Harvey are expected to drift northward which might interfere with the games if they were held in the Metroplex. In theory, the teams could swap series and let the Astros play a late-September series slated for Arlington back in Houston.
Failing that, Tampa may be the wisest choice. The Rays are out of town , the stadium has a roof and the site is decidedly neutral unlike the travesty of playing the Cubs in Milwaukee in 2008 after Hurricane Ike. The Rays would be gone that weekend, too, in case the Astros need to move their series with the New York Mets as well. Then the Astros wouldn't need to play at home until September 15th.
By the way, I checked and the Brewers already have Miller Park booked this week so fear not.
Cam Bedrosian struck out the first two batters of the eighth, nursing a 5-4 lead. That's when Jose Altuve beat out what looked like a routine grounder to short for his second hit of the day. His first was a two-run homer off Ricky Nolasco back in the initial frame.
Josh Reddick notched his third hit of the day with a single to right as Altuve scooted to third. Yuri Gurriel drew a walk before McCann smashed the game-winner. McCann had earlier smacked an RBI single so he totaled four RBIs on the day.
This looked like the Astros we've come to love - the one that builds an early lead, suffers a mid-game meltdown then tacks on runs late to win going away. After four scoreless innings, Charlie Morton faltered in the fifth when Ben Revere drilled a bases-loaded double. Joe Musgrove came into the sixth and gave up a two-run bomb to Luis Valbuena (remember him?) which put the Angels ahead.
Then there's Ken "100 Miles" Giles who filled the bases in the bottom of the ninth before Albert Pujols unloaded a blast to the same place as McCann's drive only Jake Marisnick was in the right position to haul it in for the final out.
After the game, reliever Will Harris was reactivated from the Disabled List. James Hoyt got the plane ticket back to Fresno but, who are we kidding?, he'll be right back with the team when rosters expand September 1st. Where Hoyt rejoins the squad is, for now, the greater mystery.
- Bob Hulsey