Houston wins in the tenth

Astros win over Angels in extras on an exciting tenth-inning rally

Yuli Gurriel lifted off in Friday's game against the Angels. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

By starting this four-game series and eight-game homestand with an impressive win over the Angels on Thursday night, the Astros looked to repeat that success to continue turning the tide on recent struggles. Friday night, they had their ace, Zack Greinke, on the mound to try and help them get back-to-back wins, and hopefully a repeat performance of when he was last on the bump when he went eight scoreless innings. Greinke would have a good night on the mound, but it would take extra innings for the Astros to pull out the win over the Angels:

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 5, Angels 4

Astros' Record: 9-10, fourth in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Raisel Iglesias (1-2)

Greinke gets hit around but finishes another quality start

After allowing two hits each in the first and second inning, though no runs, Zack Greinke tried to settle in to get his pitch count and momentum back on track. He did so in the third and fourth innings, allowing just one hit over that span, but then the Angels would tag him in the fifth.

Los Angeles would get four hits and two runs in that inning, including an RBI-double by Shohei Ohtani, re-elevating Greinke's pitch count that he had just worked back under control the innings prior. After a scoreless sixth, Greinke remained in the game in the seventh, getting through another inning and hitting the highest pitch count by an Astros pitcher this season. His final line: 7.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 107 P.

Astros finally crack Heaney before tying the game

Unfortunately for Houston's offense, Andrew Heaney was doing even better to that point. They put just two runners on base against him through the first six innings, one on a single in the bottom of the first and another on a hit batter in the fourth.

That changed in the bottom of the seventh, with Yordan Alvarez getting the second hit of the night with a one-out double to force Heaney out of the game, followed by a game-tying homer to the Crawford Boxes by Yuli Gurriel, making it a brand new game at 2-2.


The game heads to extras

Ryne Stanek took over in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning to keep the game tied. Houston's offense had that same outcome in their half, sending the game to the ninth. Hoping to give his team the chance to walk it off in the bottom of the inning, Ryan Pressly would enter in the top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Pressly would erase a leadoff double, keeping the score pat at 2-2. Michael Brantley started the inning by laying down a gorgeous bunt down the vacated third-base line, putting the winning run on base before being pinch-run for by Chas McCormick. Yuli Gurriel would come through with another big hit to extend the inning with a two-out single to move McCormick to second, but they would both get left stranded as the game would go to extras.

Houston gets an incredible rally in the tenth to win

Ryan Pressly, who used 13 pitches to get through the ninth, remained in the game for the top of the tenth and was greeted by a first-pitch RBI-single by David Fletcher to score the free runner on second to put Los Angeles back in front 3-2. Albert Pujols would add another with two outs, an RBI-single to make it a 4-2 game.

Houston would try to rally in the bottom of the tenth, moving the free runner Kyle Tucker to third with a sac fly, then home on an RBI-single by Myles Straw, making it a one-run game. Jason Castro would nearly tie the game with a ball into the right-field corner that would bounce out of play for a ground-rule double to keep the tying run on third and winning run on second.

That brought Carlos Correa to the plate, who tied the game with a sac fly and moved Castro to third. Robel Garcia would pinch-hit next and would play hero to bring in the winning run on a walk-off RBI single making it a three-run inning to complete the incredible rally to get back-to-back wins.

Up Next: The third game of this series will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch at 3:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Griffin Canning (1-1, 5.68 ERA) for Los Angeles and Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 10.57 ERA) for Houston, looking to provide his new team better stuff than he's given so far this year.

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Many fans weren't impressed with the Texans draft. Composite image by Jack Brame.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article titled "An honest discussion about our expectations for the Texans." In said article, I gave Texans general manager Nick Caserio props for "bringing in some decent talent." While by no means was I admitting Caserio was building a winner, but he brought in a ton of guys on one year deals who are going to be competing for their next contract. Meaning, they'll play hard, but the talent level and chemistry of opposing teams will ultimately win out as the Texans will have a losing season. I predicted they'll go somewhere between 7-10 and 4-13. A record in that range is good for a top 5-10 pick in the draft, which they desperately need in order to assist in the rebuild.

Last week, I wrote about the most likely scenarios for the Texans following the draft. Considering the moves Caserio made, I wasn't too pleased with the draft. They came into the draft with eight picks and drafted only five players after severely overpaying to trade up twice and only getting one of the guys they traded up for, so I felt as if this draft by Caserio left much to be desired. However, it may turn out for the best, but that largely depends on Davis Mills turning into a franchise quarterback and Nico Collins turning into a stud at receiver. Counting on third round picks to become big time stars in order to justify them being drafted over other guys who played positions of obvious need is a reach. Not saying it won't happen, but the likelihood isn't great.

I was optimistic about Caserio's hire initially. I had a short fuse of confidence in his abilities because I hoped he'd had learned enough in his twenty years in New England that he would be capable of doing a good enough job here. Not that I thought he'd be a superstar right away, but effective. The series of one year deals and cleaning up some cap issues made me think I was right. Re-signing David Johnson in light of bringing in Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay made me wonder if he was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck. Then there was the draft. Taking a quarterback when you already have a contingency plan starter and traded for a backup was puzzling. Sure Mills has some traits and could be a steal, but your biggest needs were on defense. The nail in my confidence coffin was his comment "I'm not a draft expert" when asked what he thought about their draft. Whether he meant it as "I'm no Todd McShay", or as "I'm too dumb to know what I'm doing just yet", the perception is there that the latter is what's believed.

When you're in a situation and you don't really know what to do, but you fake it till you make it, would you tell people? Or, would you let your performance speak for itself? No matter what I thought, if I were him, I would have never uttered those words! Perception is everything in the court of public opinion. So far, Caserio has made me think much less of his abilities moving forward. The only things he can do to change my mind is win big on a Deshaun Watson trade and hit it big with not only this, but the next couple drafts as well. If he can build a playoff contender within in the next couple of years, I'll take it back. Until then, he's just another bum living off the Bill Belichick rub.

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