CBS Houston – Evan Gattis with one out in the ninth inning tied the game with a solo homer launched way over the left field wall an estimated 421 feet.
While that was a big boost to the Houston Astros, it turned out to be all for naught as they end up falling to the Texas Rangers in the 12th inning 4-3.
The bullpen in the midst of six straight lockdown innings after taking over for Doug Fister in the 5th, saw their work get washed away when James Hoyt left a 2-0 fastball over the plate to Rougned Odor. The ball would end up in the second deck of the right-field bleachers.
“I didn’t want to get in the position to be 3-0 and have to groove a heater in there,” James Hoyt said of his costly pitch, “I just tried to get outer half and he put a good swing on it and he beat me there.”
Odor also was not only responsible for the home run to end the game, he drove in three of the Rangers four runs.
“He’s certainly hurt us a number of times over the last couple of years,” A.J. Hinch said of Odor Monday night, “he’s a good hitter, he’s a hitter that does damage, and certainly against us, he’s been a hitter that comes up big at the worst time.”
Against the Astros this year, Odor has been quite the thorn in the team’s side, batting .333 with 6 home runs and 19 RBI’s in 16 games played.
It wasn’t just Odor who hurt the Astros, they also succumbed to a few tough breaks and just plain bad plays.
In the seventh inning trailing 3-1, with two outs and runners at first and second, Tony Kemp smacked a ball down the right field line but it bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Had the wall been taller, or the ball stayed down just a little but more, two runners would have scored but in the end, the Astros only would get one run.
Earlier in that seventh inning and later in the game the Astros got caught trying to be a little too aggressive with Marwin Gonzalez and Yulieski Gourriel both called out trying to steal second base.
“Small margins and small increments that have not gone are way,” Hinch said of the Rangers and Astros games this year.
For the 13th time, this season a game between the two teams has been decided by two runs or less. For a team in the Astros who are fighting, scratching and clawing to stay in the wild-card race they need to win as many games as they can.
While the Astros did not lose any ground in the race, they did see the Seattle Mariners leapfrog ahead of them. Now three teams are ahead of the Astros as they head down this final stretch.