Yesterday, the Astros exploded out of a prolonged offensive slump to even the series in New York setting up a series deciding matchup between Colin McHugh and Michael Pineda.
McHugh continued his reemergence as a rotation anchor with another solid start picking up his fifth straight quality start. McHugh cruised through the first six innings of the game before giving up a lead off walk to Greg Bird in the seventh followed by a Didi Gregorius two run homerun.
Across the diamond, Michael Pineda made his first start since going on the DL on July 30. Pineda opened the game solidly holding the Astros to one run over the first four innings. The early run came thanks to an Evan Gattis solo homerun in the second inning.
While the Astros looked like they were falling back into their offensive funk early, everything changed in the fifth inning. In the top of the fifth the Astros batted around (the fourth time in the series) scoring four runs. Making the inning all the more impressive is the fact that the Astros managed to bat around without the benefit of any extra base hits. Seriously, the Astros managed to break open the game with an infield single, single, bunt single (squeeze play), walk, sac fly, single, walk, and a wild pitch! Not everyone was able to get in on the fun though as Colby Rasmus struck out looking and got himself thrown out from the dugout for arguing balls and strikes.
Gattis added to the Astros lead with his second solo homerun of the game in the eighth inning. Man it would be nice if the offensive outburst Gattis has shown in this series is a sign of things to come. In three games in New York, Gattis has gone 6 of 12 scoring five runs with three homeruns while driving in six.
The Astros bullpen also continued to be one of the best in the business, pitching two and two thirds innings of scoreless baseball. Tony Sipp came in to close out the seventh, Pat Neshek pitched a clean eighth and Will Harris finished off the game with a perfect ninth.