• Brian L. Barefield

Things Get A Little Wild For The Astros In Extra Innings

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

There is an old cliché in sports that goes, “Sometimes is better to be lucky than to be good.” The Houston Astros found that out in the bottom of the 11th inning in a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on Thursday night.

Myles Straw scored from third base on a wild pitch by Rangers reliever Brett Martin to secure the win for Houston and bring their record to 5-2 in the last seven games played at home.

"To tell you the truth, I don't know how we came out with that one," said Astros manager Dusty Baker. "The gods were with us even at the end with the wild pitch.”

The game was a little closer than what the Astros wanted it to be after scoring nine runs the night before against the Los Angeles Angels. One of the main factors of the game being so tight was the inefficiency of Houston to score with runners in position. They were 2-for-18 and stranded 14 runners on base.

“We left a lot of men on base,” said Baker. “We had a lot of opportunities. We had a whole lot more opportunities than they did. It would have been a downer to lose that game. But hey, we will take it any way we can get it."

Texas got on the board early leading Houston by a score of 2-0 going into the bottom of the second inning after left fielder Willie Calhoun sent the first pitch, he seen deep to right field off of starting pitcher Cristian Javier for his first career leadoff home run.

Houston would respond in the bottom of that same inning when their leadoff hitter Jose Altuve hit a bases clearing three-run bases clearing double to put the Astros up 3-2. He has now hit safely in the last nine games.

The Rangers would respond to tie the game up after Nick Solak scored on an RBI groundout to first base by Joey Gallo. That would be the last run Texas would score off of Javier as he settled down and retired the next 15 out of 16 hitters he would face before being relieved in the top of the eighth inning.

“I just stayed positive out there,” Javier responded when asked how he was able to gain control of the mound. “Thank God I was able to turn it around and everything turned out well.”

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

Four Astros relievers would keep the score tied working in and out of jams to keep Houston’s chances of getting the win. Brooks Raley was able to get David Dahl to strikeout with runners on first and third for the Rangers and that’s when things got a little wild in the bottom of the inning.

With Myles Straw starting out at second base to start the inning, Jason Castro laid down a perfect bunt to move him to third base. Texas would intentionally walk Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman to load the bases for Chas McCormick who was in the game for designated hitter Yordan Alvarez.

Rangers’ reliever Brett Martin allowed a 1-2 pitch to get away from him and it bounced in the dirt giving the speedy Straw the chance to race home from third base for the victory.

"I was ready, especially with two strikes there," a smiling Myles Straw said after the game. "I had a feeling they would bounce a breaking ball, so I stayed ready and sure enough, I saw it kind of get away a little bit. I was going to be overaggressive there with two strikes. Even if it was a little bit closer than that, I was probably going to go."

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