July 11, 2018 / 4:50 AM / 7 days ago

Astros trim A's in wild, walk-off fashion in 11 innings

EditorsNote: Fixes Verlander stat — did not allow 9 runs in last 2 starts

Kyle Tucker scored on a throwing error by Oakland catcher Jonathan Lucroy and the Houston Astros pulled out a wild, 6-5 victory over the Athletics in the 11th inning on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.

Stephen Piscotty homered for a fourth consecutive game, belting a two-out solo home run to left off Astros right-hander Collin McHugh (5-0) to provide Oakland its first lead of the game at 5-4 in the 11th. But the Astros rallied against Athletics All-Star closer Blake Treinen in the bottom half.

Treinen walked pinch-hitter Josh Reddick on a 3-2 pitch to open the 11th and Tucker added a single to right that pushed Reddick to third. Reddick scored on a fielder’s choice grounder from Tony Kemp when Lucroy couldn’t handle the throw home from shortstop Marcus Semien.

Two batters later, Alex Bregman eluded the tag of Lucroy after his swinging bunt rolled fair mere feet from home plate, and when Lucroy attempted to retire Bregman at first, his throw sailed wide.

The Athletics fashioned a four-run, ninth-inning rally to pull even, with Mark Canha, Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis all hitting singles in succession against Astros right-hander Ken Giles.

Davis plated Canha to get Oakland on the board and facilitate a pitching change, with Astros closer Hector Rondon entering and surrendering an RBI single to Matt Olson and a two-run double to Marcus Semien that followed his wild pitch and tied the game. Semien had two doubles and a triple for the game.

Bregman followed his one-out, solo home run in the first inning with a leadoff blast in the seventh for his 18th and 19th homers on the season, matching the career-best total he posted in 2017 over 155 games. Bregman went 2-for-5 while posting his first career multi-homer game.

His first dinger came on a 2-0 fastball from Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea and spotted the Astros a 1-0 lead. Bregman greeted Athletics right-hander Emilio Pagan by launching a 2-2 fastball 369 feet out to left field. Bregman crushed his first homer 380 feet to left-center.

Manaea had pitched effectively against the Astros previously, but labored throughout and was yanked after second baseman Jose Altuve reached on an infield single leading off the fifth. He allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts.

Oakland had gone four consecutive games without allowing a homer, its longest streak in over two seasons.

George Springer added a pair of run-scoring singles for the Astros, plating Tucker both times. Tucker, making his fourth career start, finished 2-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.

Astros starter Justin Verlander had scuffled of late, surrendering nine earned runs over his final two starts in June before a strong outing last Thursday (seven innings, two runs vs. White Sox). He rediscovered the form that carried him through a splendid first two months of the season, allowing only three hits while recording six strikeouts in his first scoreless start since May 16.

Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez was removed from the game after the first inning with a left elbow and wrist contusion. He was involved in a collision while putting the tag on Athletics center fielder Dustin Fowler as Fowler attempted to steal second base in the top of the first.

—Field Level Media

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