June 10, 2018 / 10:54 PM / 2 months ago

Late balk allows Astros to complete sweep over Rangers

George Springer scored three runs, including the winning tally on a balk with two outs in the ninth inning, as the Houston Astros completed a four-game series sweep of the Texas Rangers with a wild 8-7 victory on Sunday at Globe Life Park.

Springer (2-for-4 with a home run) worked a four-pitch walk against Rangers closer Keone Kela (3-3) to open the ninth, advanced to second on a wild pitch and took third when Yuli Gurriel (4-for-5) lifted a fly ball to left. Kela balked home Springer while pitching to Evan Gattis, a miscue brought to the attention of the umpiring crew by Astros manager A.J. Hinch. Rangers manager Jeff Banister was ejected protesting the revised call.

Will Harris (2-3) notched the victory for Houston despite allowing a game-tying, run-scoring single to Adrian Beltre with two outs in the eighth. Texas has dropped 7 of 10.

Rangers left-hander Matt Moore was one strike away from retiring the side in order in the second before Astros left fielder and nine-hole hitter Tony Kemp rallied from an 0-2 hole to work a two-out walk. Houston followed with an impressive string of quality at-bats, with Springer producing a single before Alex Bregman added a two-run triple that doubled the Astros’ lead to 4-0. Jose Altuve followed with a double that scored Bregman before Gurriel recorded his second hit, an infield single that plated Altuve and capped the four-run frame.

Leading 6-0, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel couldn’t stand the prosperity. The Rangers chipped away at the deficit two runs at a time, first with Shin-Soo Choo delivering a two-run single in the second inning that scored Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman with two outs.

With two outs in the third, Keuchel surrendered a two-run single to catcher Carlos Perez, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Odor scoring to slice the deficit to 6-4. And after allowing 10 hits, all singles, through four innings, Keuchel surrendered a leadoff double to Kiner-Falefa in the fifth. After Kiner-Falefa scored on an error, Guzman chased Keuchel with a game-tying RBI single.

Keuchel allowed six runs (five earned) on a season-high 13 hits with three strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Over his last three starts and 16 innings, Keuchel has surrendered 17 runs.

—Field Level Media

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