EditorsNote: rewords fourth graf, adds new last graf
Yuli Gurriel slapped a bases-loaded, walk-off single to right-center field, and the Houston Astros rallied for a 4-3 victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
With Chicago ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, George Springer, hitless in his first four at bats, blooped a single to center off White Sox closer Joakim Soria (0-3), scoring Tony Kemp and pulling the Astros even.
Kemp had opened the ninth with a pinch-hit walk and advanced to third base when Marwin Gonzalez, also pinch-hitting, added a flare single to right field.
Following Springer’s hit, Alex Bregman walked and Jose Altuve struck out before Gurriel plated Gonzalez with his hit.
Leury Garcia belted his third homer of the season into the home bullpen in right-center against Astros reliever Chris Devenski with one out in the eighth inning to lift Chicago to a 3-2 lead.
Omar Narvaez recorded a pair of hits against Astros right-hander Justin Verlander, the second of which sparked a two-run sixth inning. Verlander had allowed just one hit through five dominant frames, a single to Narvaez leading off the third that Narvaez unwisely attempted to stretch into a double only to be erased at second base by right fielder Springer.
Verlander, winless in his past four starts, suddenly came undone after Narvaez opened the sixth with a homer to right field. With two outs in the frame, Verlander allowed a single to Yoan Moncada and a run-scoring double to Yolmer Sanchez that erased the 2-0 lead the Astros built in the fifth.
The White Sox recorded three of their four hits off Verlander in the sixth. Verlander completed seven innings and posted 10 strikeouts for his fourth double-digit strikeout game this season.
The Astros put a pair of baserunners on in the first, second, and third innings against White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon but failed to drive in any runs. It wasn’t until Altuve followed a Bregman one-out double in the fifth with his eighth homer that Houston finally broke through.
Houston quickly surrendered its 2-0 lead before salvaging the win in the ninth.
Joe Smith (3-1) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the victory.
—Field Level Media