The story coming into tonight's game was the appearance of rapper and star of Degrassi, Drake. The Toronto rapper has adopted Houston as a second home, and was hosting "Houston Appreciation Week" across the city. He kicked off the event at Minute Maid Park, addressing fans before the game and meeting with kids from the Astros' Urban Youth Academy. There was clear excitement from the players about the prospect of meeting the popular rapper (who has a Astros Star-H tattooed on his shoulder), and the electricity of the event translated to an exciting game tonight.
The Astros jumped out to an early 4-1 lead by the fourth inning against the Diamondbacks. The Astros offense was lead by Jon Singleton, who drove in a run on a sac-fly in the first. The next time at bat he hit a towering upper deck home run to put the Astros up two. Now for some highlights with Drake, because winning baseball makes me do silly things.
When Carlos Corporan tomahawked a tight fastball from Wade Miley into the Crawford Boxes in the fourth, little did we know that would be a theme for the night. Another theme was diving catches from George Springer, who made a catch to rob Chris Owings of a hit in the fifth. Springer made another tremendous diving catch on a Martin Prado line drive in the eighth. Then, Springer doubled up Paul Goldschmidt at second. Time for another Drake highlight -
Chris Owings chipped away at the Astros' lead with a home run in the seventh to make the game 4-3 Astros. Owing's home run ended the night for Scott Feldman. Feldman went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits - striking out six.
The fun appeared to stop in the seventh as Jose Altuve squared to bunt and was hit by a pitch in the hand. Fearing the worst, every sign pointed to a major injury. But, it was later reported x-rays were negative for a break.
The Astros sent out Chad Qualls for the save in the ninth, Miguel Montero greeted him with a first-pitch home run into the Crawford Boxes. The home run broke Qualls 16 2/3 scoreless innings streak. Qualls retired the side to send the game to the bottom of the ninth. That's where Matt Dominguez grounded into his second double play of the night to give the fans free baseball tonight, capping off a 0-5 night with three strikeouts and two double plays.
After Tony Sipp had a clean tenth inning (minus a catcher's interference), the Astros sent Chris Carter to bat. Carter turned on his fifth straight fastball from J.J. Putz and slipped right into the Crawfish Boxes for the win. Party time -
Enough Drake madness. Safe to say Astros baseball is fun again. They take on the Rays for a three game set over Father's Day weekend. The Rays currently have the worse winning percentage in baseball (.373).