This afternoon’s game was a good way to end the homestand. Thanks to Carlos Pena’s three run blast, the Astros were able to get on the plane to Chicago with a 5-2 record in their recent stretch at Minute Maid Park.
Although they needed ten innings to do it, it was certainly worth the wait. Except for an ugly bout of defense in the second inning, you had to be pretty pleased with the effort the Astros put forth on getaway day. Those two errors aside, Houston played a complete game. Granted it was by no means perfect like Tuesday night, and it took ten innings and five pitchers to do it, but it was still a very good win despite the fact that it was a messy game.
Each team scored three unearned runs as there were four errors in the game; three of which were made by the Astros. Ultimately it did not matter as a Carlos Corporan home run off Jim Henderson tied the game in the eighth inning before Pena ended the game in the tenth.
It was a passed ball in the decisive inning that ended up putting the winning run on base. Corporan struck out which should have been the second out of the inning, but instead he reached first base as the pitch got past catcher Jonathan Lucroy. A J.D. Martinez double then set the stage for Pena to send everyone home happy as Carlos hit his second home run of the series against the Brewers. Pena also made a winner out of Hector Ambriz as he was able to somewhat redeem himself for his problems with the home run last night by pitching a scoreless top of the tenth.
Even though he only lasted 5.1 innings, you had to be pleased with Lucas Harrell today. Errors by Jose Altuve and Justin Maxwell led to a three run second inning for the Brewers with all of the runs being unearned. Harrell was efficient this afternoon only giving up five hits while allowing no walks to Milwaukee. He was able to avoid any further trouble until his 97th and last pitch of the game which was a Lucroy home run. Harrell then gave way to the bullpen.
Wesley Wright, Jose Cisnero, Jose Veras, and Ambriz then combined for 4.2 scoreless innings which allowed the Astros to tie and then win the game.
The Astros got their scoring started in the fifth inning off Brewers’ starter Yovani Gallardo. Maxwell walked with one out and then Matt Dominguez followed with a single. After a passed ball put two runners in scoring position, Marwin Gonzalez and Trevor Crowe then plated a run each on a fielder’s choice.
Dominguez, who is very quickly turning into the Astros’ best run producer, doubled in Martinez in the bottom of the sixth inning after he had reached on an error. It was his 41st RBI of the season and that was it for the scoring until Corporan tied the game in the eighth inning.
Let’s see if the Astros can continue the positive momentum against a familiar foe in the Cubs.