HOFFMAN'S 10 QUESTIONS

Houston Astros speedster Tony Kemp answers 10 quick questions

Kemp reveals the best clubhouse food and his favorite drive-thru. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

The 4th Annual George Springer All-Star Bowling Benefit drew 450 Astros fans and supporters of Camp SAY: A Summer Camp for Young People Who Stutter, who chipped in $200,000-plus — that’s more than double last year’s haul, and a record for the charity.

It was a pretty good day for Springer all around. Not only did his charity enjoy a mega-successful event, but the Astros finished a sweep of the Chicago White Sox, and he was named to the American League All-Star Team.

The fundraiser was held at Bowlmor Lanes. Celebrities, teammates, and athletes from other sports had Springer’s back. Some were good bowlers, some should never be allowed to rent shoes again. 

Among the local media superstars: Channel 11 weather wonder Chita Craft (her 15-month-old son’s favorite word is “bubbles”), Houston Live host Courtney Zavala, Great Day Houston host and songbird Deborah Duncan, debonair radio ace Michael Garfield, Channel 13 sports anchor (and my former radio co-host) David Nuno, KHOU news anchor Ron Trevino, and Houston Chronicle society reporter Amber Elliott.

Athletic supporters: Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus, Texans alum Chester Pitts, and new Rocket Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — who played his high school ball in America’s garden spot, Elizabeth, N.J. Astros teammates: pitchers Brad Peacock, Lance McCullers, Tony Sipp, and outfield speedster Tony Kemp.

As long as you and I are here, put it there (thanks, Paul) … 10 Questions, Tony Kemp.

Ken Hoffman: When was the first time somebody asked for your autograph?

Tony Kemp: It was my second year in college [Vanderbilt]. It caught me by surprise. I wound up printing my name: "Tony Kemp." 

Read more at CultureMap.

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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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