In the biggest series of the year to date, the Astros picked up their biggest win of the season.
Heading into the Silver Boot Series, the Astros trailed the Rangers by three games in the AL West. After one of the wildest games of the season, they've cut the deficit to two. In a game that suffered from no shortage of fireworks, Houston won 10-9.
Pitching was optional in this contest and outs came at a premium. The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but Houston punched back in the bottom half, scoring four runs. Chas McCormick's two-RBI double to deep center highlighted the outburst.
Astros starter Brandon Bielak struggled throughout the night, particularly with his command. Two weeks, an error and two hits let Texas reclaim the lead in the top of the 2nd. Texas held a 6-4 lead into the 5th before back-to-back sacrifice flies from McCormick and Yainer Diaz re-tied the game at six.
The usually reliable Phil Maton then combusted in the 7th. maton faced three batters and allowed two hits and a walk. He's now faced six consecutive batters without recording an out. Ryne Stanek came on to relieve Maton and allowed all three inherited runners to score.
But once more, Houston battled back in the home half. Kyle Tucker and Jose Abreu worked walks ahead of Chas McCormick. The Astros hottest hitter stepped in against rival Aroldis Chapman.
Is rival the correct term to use? Can a relationship so one-sided be deemed a rivalry?
In a scene eerily reminiscent of Jose Altuve's 2019 ALCS walk-off, McCormick pummeled Chapman's upstairs offering, this one a fastball, into deep left-center. His three-run blast tied the game at nine and gave McCormick six RBI on the night.
Sharp eighth and ninth innings from Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly gave the Astros a chance to win it in the ninth. After Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick walked, rookie Yainer Diaz stepped to the plate for the biggest at-bat of his professional career.
Diaz delivered, driving an 0-2 slider into right. Third base coach Gary Pettis gave Tucker an aggressive send from second, testing the arm of Travis Jankowski. As has happened so many times before, Pettis' aggressiveness paid off.
Tucker beat the relay throw home, sending Minute Maid Park into a frenzy.
The Astros are now 5-3 on the year against the Rangers, and winners of four of their last five against Texas.
With J.P. France on the mound for the Astros tonight and the Rangers sending out a bullpen game, the Astros are in prime position to trim the division deficit to one.