It took five starts, but Brett Oberholtzer finally had a bad outing. Luckily for Oberholtzer and the Astros, their bats were also working tonight as they hit five home runs in what turned out to be an exciting game.
Chris Carter (Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports)
The Astros pulled out a 10-8 victory tonight against the Chicago White Sox in the first game of their three game series. Chicago’s closer Addison Reed entered the game in the top of the ninth inning with the score tied at eight and quickly retired the first two batters he faced.
Matt Dominguez then gave Houston the lead with his 19th home run of the season. Chris Carter followed that up with his second home run of the game and his 25th of the season — another majestic blast to conclude what was one of the first baseman’s better games of the year.
However, you could say the real drama was in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Tonight Bo Porter went with Josh Zeid to get the save. It looked like it would be a pretty quick inning at first. Zeid retired the first batter before allowing a one out walk to Gordon Beckham. Alexei Ramirez then flew out and Paul Konerko was all that stood between Zeid and the save. Konerko then hit a ground rule double and Zeid gave way to Kevin Chapman.
Chapman entered to face Adam Dunn for a lefty on lefty matchup and promptly walked the power hitter before being replaced by Jordan Lyles. Now that the Astros are using the six man rotation, Lyles is available out of the bullpen on occasion and tonight he came to the rescue. After throwing three straight balls to Avisail Garcia, Lyles came back to get the strike out and his first career save.
Prior to tonight’s game it was announced that Jason Castro very deservedly won his second Player of the Week award for the season. The catcher wasted no time continuing his hot hitting as he stroked his 18th home run of the season in the second inning. I know this might come as a surprise, but between Castro and Dominguez, it is very much in the realm of possibility for the Astros to have three 20-plus home run hitters.
The Astros were not done scoring in the second inning as Brandon Barnes‘ single scored Dominguez and Carter with an assist from Garcia’s error. Barnes was not done having an impact on the game, as a few innings later he robbed Dunn of a potential home run with a leaping grab at the wall.
Dunn would go on to homer two innings later off Oberholtzer bringing the White Sox to within two runs making the score 7-5. David Martinez then relieved the lefty, and did not provide any relief. Two more runs would score for Chicago in the sixth inning which gave the White Sox the lead. The tying run actually came home on a Martinez balk.
Carter then struck again, this time with an RBI single scoring Dominguez to tie the game for the Astros. Martinez actually settled down, pitching 2.2 innings to earn his first major league win on the same day that he recorded his first blown save.
From the start, Oberholtzer had to battle. He allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in each of the first three innings, but he was able to limit the damage to just one run. For the night, Oberholtzer pitched 5.1 innings allowing eight hits, one walk, and striking out three while being charged with five runs of which four were earned.
After Chicago finally got to Oberholtzer in the third inning, actually scoring their run on a double play, the bats went to work again. A Brett Wallace solo home run and a two run shot by Carter gave the Astros a 6-1 lead. That lead did not last long as Jeff Keppinger hit a home run and the White Sox got another run on an error to make it 6-3. Robbie Grossman scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-3 in the top of the sixth inning before Oberholtzer and Martinez combined to blow the lead.
Paul Clemens makes his starting debut tomorrow night as the Astros look to continue their winning ways and take another series.