If you decided to skip out on the Astros late night game tonight against the A's then you missed the Jarre(o)d's battle it out in a pitcher's duel. Though Jarred Parker was much more efficient tonight which allowed him to pitch into the ninth, Cosart matched zeros with him over the first six innings. In addition to the pitcher's duel the Astros played amazing defense, and saw late innings heroics off the bat of Carlos Corporan.
Cosart pitched exceptional tonight and only allowed three hits (all singles), no runs, and four strikeouts. Equally impressive is the fact that Cosart allowed only one walk to a very patient A's lineup. He still ran several three ball counts which ran up his pitch count to 99 after six innings that led to his exit. Cosart's six shutout innings lowered his ERA to 1.15. There's no doubt that he's put together an impressive start to his major league career.
Philip Humber took over for Cosart in the seventh and was greeted with a Cespedes single and a Moss double that tied the score at one. Humber was able to get out of the inning without allowing any further damage. He started the 8th inning as well and exited with one out and a runner on in favor of Kevin Chapman.
Chapman came in and gave up a long fly to Brandon Barnes who was then able to gun down Eric Sogard at third who was trying to advance on the out. Chapman stayed in to pitch a scoreless ninth to send the game into extra innings.
Lucas Harrell took the mound in the bottom of the 10th and almost gave up a game winning home run to none other than Chris Young. However, Robbie Grossman made a terrific catch to rob Young of a home run and keep the Astros in the game. VERY SCARY INNING.
Josh Fields took over for Harrell in the bottom of the 11th, and was immediately greeted with a double off the bat of Eric Sogard. Fields got lucky when Alberto Callaspo popped up the sacrifice bunt attempt to give the Astros their first out of the inning. Fields then picked up a crucial strikeout against former Astro Jed Lowrie for two outs. Fields then struck out Josh Reddick to end the game and pick up his second save of the year.
The Astros only extra base hit off of Parker tonight came on Carter's solo shot. Other than that they weren't able to string anything together to break the game open. The Astros got the leadoff man aboard with no outs in the 4th, 6th, and 8th innings, but were unable to advance that runner to second base.
Fast forward to the top of the 11th when Jose Altuve got things started with a one out single. Carlos Corporan then came through with a big pinch hit double that was able to score Altuve from first to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.
Standouts at the plate tonight include Jonathan Villar who went 3-4 with no strikeouts. Jose Altuve added two singles, and Grossman, Wallace, and Hoes each added a single as well. Carlos Corporan added the game winning RBI double in the top of the 11th. Chris Carter hit his 22nd home run of the season tonight. Both LJ Hoes and Jonathan Villar attempted stolen bases but were caught stealing.
I couldn't see it personally, but according to both Ford and Sparks, Brandon Barnes made a tremendous catch to rob Seth Smith of a homerun that would have put the A's ahead 2-1 at the time. Barnes also had an outfield assist in the 8th inning to gun down Sogard at third base. Robbie Grossman also joined in on the fun and robbed Chris Young of a walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th to keep the game going.
Overall it was a very exciting game and nice to see the Astros bullpen bend but not break tonight. Lefty Erik Bedard will try to seal the series sweep for the good guys tomorrow. Opposing Bedard will be rookie Sonny Gray.