Coming off the offensive explosion of the home opener, the Astros looked to make it two in a row against the defending World Series champs on Tuesday. Mike Fiers wanted to follow up the great pitching performance by Collin McHugh the night before. Also it was the return of Evan Gattis to the lineup following offseason surgery.
It didn't start out so good for Fiers. Alcides Escobar started the game with a flair to center field. Mike Moustakas followed that up with a single to the right field corner. With nobody out, Lorenzo Cain yanked a 3-2 inside pitch just into the front row of the Crawford Boxes for a quick 3-0 lead. Fiers settled down after that, getting the next three batters out to limit the damage.
In the bottom of the first, Jose Altuve started off with a walk. George Springer knocked a single back up the middle moving Altuve to second. After Carlos Correa hit into a double play, Colby Rasmus knocked a double out in front of the Astros bullpen to drive in Altuve. Tyler White followed that with an RBI single to make the score 3-2 after one inning.
Both pitchers settled down after that first inning. The Astros had runners on, but pickoffs and bad luck erased some of them, and when that wasn't happening the batters couldn't get the hit to bring them home. Fiers made it through six innings without allowing another run. Then the bullpens took over.
Luke Hochevar and Kelvin Herrera shut down the Astros bats in the sixth and seventh innings. Will Harris had a nice two-inning appearance, giving up one hit and striking out two to keep the game close in the seventh and eighth. In the bottom of the eighth Rasmus got a two-out hit, followed by a walk to White, but Joakim Soria got a ground out from Carlos Gomez to end that threat.
Luke Gregerson pitched the ninth, and it got a little interesting. After a one-out walk to Alex Gordon on a very questionable call, he moved up to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Gregerson struck out Omar Infante, but the ball skipped well away from Jason Castro. Castro recovered to throw Infante out to end the inning.
Wade Davis came on to close the game for KC. He struck out Gattis (his third K of the game) to start the inning. Then he walked Luis Valbuena and Castro, to bring up Altuve. Davis went 3-2 to him before coaxing a soft fly ball to right field. Springer worked a 3-2 count before anticlimactically taking strike three through the heart of the plate.
So it didn't end the way we wanted, but you can't say it wasn't exciting! Yeah...doesn't make me feel better either.
The series is all tied up. Tomorrow KC will send Yordano Ventura to the hill to face Scott Feldman in game three of this opening homestand.
Astros streak of games with a homer came to an end tonight...one solo homer would have helped. Where was Marwin Gonzalez? He knows solo homers!
Tweets of the Night
Pretty much sums it up...
That was like a half a billion dollar collision. #Astros
— Archbishop Deshaies (@HouCounterplot) April 13, 2016
That was like a half a billion dollar collision. #Astros— Archbishop Deshaies (@HouCounterplot) April 13, 2016
The love for Gattis was unbounded...
Gattis shaved his beard and underneath was Chris Carter— STROSfaniknow (@strosfaniknow) April 13, 2016
Guy needs to calm down a bit...