If you were writing a script on how Scott Kazmir's homecoming could be at peak drama it would probably have the words, "Walk-off" in the script. Jason Castro apparently heard that. Castro, who has struggled mightily this season at the plate, put that behind him in the bottom of the ninth. He provided all the offense in Houston tonight with a 3 run shot that, in effect, ended the game. While Castro did provide all the offense he did not provide all the fireworks. All he did was cap them off. The first fireworks weren't even on the field. They were on twitter when CBS Sport's' Jon Heyman reported Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers were coming to Houston. The headlines didn't stop there. Mike Trout returned from missing 2 games, Jed Lowrie returned after his rehab stint and Kazmir's homecoming script hung on one swing. More on their returns later.
The Astros decided to start swinging the bat at the right time. Right when the, at the time, division leading Los Angeles Angels came into town. The Astros took down the Angels in the first two games and had their brooms on deck for tonight's game. Kazmir did what the Astros brought him here for and delivered a gem with 7.2 IP allowing 3 hits, 0 runs, walking 3 and striking out 5. The Astros couldn't provide any runs to him because of one man. Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker did just as well, throwing 7 innings, matching the 3 hits and 0 runs given up by Kazmir but only walked 1 and struck out 7.
Report of the returnees
Return of the Jed[(i) Lowrie] didn't play out like he might have wanted it to but he did help his team win a game. He saved a potential lead off double in the seventh and then came across to score what was the game winning run in the ninth after reaching on a walk. Trout's return was also a return to choppy waters. He, with the rest of the Angels, struggled vs Kazmir going 0-3, with a walk and left 3 on base. And not exactly a return from the DL or an injury but a return home for Scott Kazmir couldn't have ended much better. With family and friends watching, Kazmir extended his scoreless streak to 14 2/3 innings as an Astro.
On an electric night in Minute Maid Park, is was only right J.J. Watt was in the house. Watt took batting practice with the team belting balls into the Crawford Boxes and entertaining with Mike Trout pregame.
The Astros will stay home and begin a 3 game series with the National League Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks (49-51) will send out RHP Rubby De La Rosa (8-5, 4.52 ERA) to face the Astros Scott Feldman (4-5, 4.54 ERA). If the ERA's tell you anything, this should be a close game, but Feldman hasn't done his best work at Minute Maid Park with a home ERA of 5.63. If the Astros want to keep on rolling they will need to squash the bat of right handed slugger Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt will probably try to befriend the Crawford Boxes early and often this series. If he does, the Astros will need to prepare for an old fashion wild west shootout on the scoreboard.