EditorsNote: Adds that 12-game win streak ties franchise record
Alex Bregman delivered a walk-off, two-run double and the Houston Astros stretched their winning streak to a franchise-record tying 12 games with a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday at Minute Maid Park.
Bregman arrived at the plate with the bases loaded and one out against Rays right-hander Sergio Romo (1-2), the seventh pitcher of the night for Tampa Bay. Bregman lined a 1-1 slider into left-center field, plating Marwin Gonzalez (walk) and Max Stassi (single), who reached in succession to open the frame. The Astros opened a nine-game homestand after going 10-0 on their recently completed road trip.
Joey Wendle delivered a two-run single in the third against Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole, who walked four of the first 12 batters he faced before settling into a groove. Wendle’s hit extended the Rays’ lead to 4-0 and five relievers shared the load holding the lead before Romo collapsed.
The Astros clawed back from that deficit and placed the tying run on third base with one out in the eighth inning. Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, who had already scored twice on a pair of RBI singles from Yuli Gurriel, led off with a single and reached third via a stolen base and throwing error by Tampa Bay catcher Wilson Ramos with the Rays leading 4-3.
But Rays right-hander Chaz Roe stranded Altuve, retiring Gurriel on an infield popup before retiring Tyler White on a grounder to shortstop Willy Adames to preserve the advantage.
Cole retired 11 consecutive batters following the Wendle single in the third and completed seven innings having allowed four runs on three hits and a season-high five walks with eight strikeouts.
He surrendered a two-run, opposite-field homer to Ramos after walking Jake Bauers with one out in the first. Of the five batters Cole walked, three came home to score, including Matt Duffy and Bauers on the Wendle hit to left. Cole threw a season-high 116 pitches.
Right-hander Ryne Stanek served as the Rays “opener” and retired all five batters he faced before giving way to left-hander Jonny Venters. Right-hander Matt Andriese allowed three runs on four hits and posted the longest outing for a Rays pitcher, working 2 2/3 innings.
Collin McHugh (2-0) earned the win in relief for Houston.
—Field Level Media