Houston (CBS Houston) – A furious three-run, eighth inning rally, lifts the Astros to a 4-3 win and a series sweep over Oakland.
The eighth inning wasn’t a prototypical three-run inning as the first two hitters were retired. George Springer would triple on a line drive that ran up Tal’s Hill, Alex Bregman would then reach first on a wild pitch when he struck out swinging, which plated Springer. Jose Altuve would follow that up with an RBI triple to tie the game, and then Evan Gattis, after Carlos Correa was intentionally walked, would single to left to knock in the eventual game-winning run.
“We had it all the way, we had it all mapped out that way. We were going to get multiple triples and a wild pitch on a strike out. Exactly how we drew it up for the sweep,” manager A.J. Hinch joked.
Oakland would cause Mike Fiers some trouble in the second inning. Yonder Alonso led off the inning on a ball up the middle that deflected off Correa’s glove. After Ryon Healy flew out to center, Joey Wendle would reach on a Correa error. Jake Smolinski would follow that up with a two run triple, and then score on a Bruce Maxwell sacrifice fly.
Bregman would lead off the top of the fourth inning with a walk, and would advance to second two hitters later on a wild pitch. Correa would later double, scoring Bregman, and cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Chris Devenski, Michael Feliz and Ken Giles would combine to pitch the final four innings without allowing an Oakland base runner to reach, and kept the Astros offense within striking distance.
“We have so many weapons, and if we can get rolling where we can get guys like Feliz and Devenski to bridge some of these close games, it’s a really strong bullpen,” Hinch said.
Mike Fiers, while not his best, was able to labor through five innings and surrendered three ones, one of which was earned.
“Kind of off, first couple of innings just not really locating my pitches, not getting ahead, and when you do that against any team it’s going to be tough pitching. Going ball one, ball two and then trying to battle back from that,” Fiers said.
Correa’s RBI in the fourth inning was his 87th of the season, which breaks the franchise record for RBIs by a shortstop set by Miguel Tejada with 86 in 2009.
“It’s good, he’s going to drive in like 100 runs in (each of) the next five years,” Altuve said.
The Astros finished August with a 10-2 record in the last dozen games of the month. Now the Astros embark on a difficult road trip to begin September that sees them play at the Rangers for three and then the Indians for four.
Doug Fister will start Friday and Dallas Keuchel will start either Saturday or Sunday.
“It keeps Fister on regular rotation, he’s a guy that we wanted to keep on regular rotation. We like the way he comes back when he’s on regular rest,” Hinch said. “This time of season all our guys deal with fatigue, and Dallas is going through a little thing where he’s got a little bit of fatigue that we’d like to give an extra day,” Hinch said.