EditorsNote: rewords seventh and eighth grafs
Jake Marisnick capped a wacky seventh inning by scoring on a throwing error as the host Houston Astros rallied for an 8-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Houston scored three times in the seventh off Rays right-hander Diego Castillo (2-8), erasing a 4-3 deficit and taking Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole off the hook for what would have been his first loss since late May.
The bizarre sequence of events began when Yuli Gurriel, who opened the inning with a walk, was nearly picked off first base by Castillo. A three-minute replay review ensured before the safe call was upheld.
On the next pitch, Aledmys Diaz lined a double into the left field corner that scored Gurriel, who was running on the pitch. Diaz was erased attempting to advance to third on a Martin Maldonado bunt.
Marisnick hit an opposite-field single, and then George Springer followed with a bloop single that just eluded Rays second baseman Eric Sogard in shallow right-center field, allowing Maldonado to score.
Marisnick then scored from second when Sogard followed with an errant throw while attempting to complete a double play on Jose Altuve.
Cole pitched splendidly aside from his struggles with Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi. He matched his season high with 14 strikeouts and set a franchise record with his 15th double-digit strikeout game of 2019, eclipsing the mark set by J.R. Richard in 1978 and matched by Richard the following campaign.
But Cole surrendered four runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings after allowing just six earned runs over his previous six starts combined. Choi went 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and a two-run home run against Cole to almost singlehandedly keep Tampa Bay afloat.
After Cole returned for the seventh inning, Rays third baseman Joey Wendle greeted him with a leadoff triple. Wendle later scored when Jesus Aguilar bounced an RBI single past the drawn-in infield to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 lead.
Willy Adames slugged a two-run homer, his 17th, off Astros closer Roberto Osuna in the ninth.
Houston rallied from a 3-0 deficit against Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough in the fourth when Alex Bregman lined an RBI single that scored Altuve, and then Gurriel smacked his 27th home run.
Will Harris (4-1) earned the victory in relief of Cole with 1 1/3 perfect innings and three strikeouts.
—Field Level Media