MILKSHAKES FOR HOMERS

Houston burger joint offers free milkshake for every Astros playoff home run

Want a shake? Root for homers. Becca Wright

Originally appeared on CultureMap/Houston. See the full story here.

One Houston restaurant wants to give Astros fans a little reward for all those Springer dingers and Bregman bombs. The Burger Joint will give away milkshakes for every home run the team hits during the 2018 postseason.

The offer is pretty simple. Every person dining or in line at The Burger Joint will receive a certificate for one free milkshake when any Astros player hits a home run through the end of the season (dine in only).

"We have a special Crush City Creamsicle Shake made with vanilla ice cream, Minute Maid orange juice reduction, topped with orange zest and orange sprinkles that is available throughout the playoff run that will pair nicely with an Astros home run," Burger Joint owner Shawn Bermudez tells CultureMap. "We wanted to reward our customers watching the game with us by showing them just how well they go together, but customers aren’t required to cash in right away and can choose whatever shake their heart desires."

Considering the Astros hit 27 homers on their way to a World Series title in 2017, the restaurant could wind up giving away hundreds of them if the team becomes the first back-to-back champions in 20 years. "We hope they hit 40 this year," Bermudez adds. 

Since they won't be at the restaurant during the games, Astros players may not be eligible for the offer, but they're definitely fans of the restaurant. Shortstop Carlos Correa and fiancee Daniella Rodriguez even gave the establishment a shoutout in a recent article in Houston Hotel magazine.  

Maybe the offer should be extended to the people who hit home runs, too.

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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