clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Astros 10, Athletics 9: Astros walk off on Valbuena's homer after bullpen collapse

New, 10 comments

Athletics, Astros combine to score eight runs in the ninth inning.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros looked dead in the water. All-Star closer Will Harris gave up a two-run home run and left two runners on before being pulled, only to see Michael Feliz allow three more runs to score. The Astros 7-4 lead became a 9-7 decision in a flash.

But Luis Valbuena threw a life preserver to the Astros with a walk-off three-run home run to lift the Astros to a 10-9 victory, Friday at Minute Maid Park.

Friday's starter Collin McHugh and former Astros prospect Daniel Mengden dealt with some traffic on the bases through the first three innings but kept the game scoreless.

The A's were the first on the board in the fourth inning. Danny Valencia opened the frame with a single and  scored as Stephen Vogt blasted a ball up Tal's Hill. Vogt would collect a triple and score on a Billy Butler Single.

Marcus Semien added a third run in the inning with a solo home run.

Carlos Correa answered back with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth, scoring Altuve. Things got even worse for Mengden, the former Texas A&M Aggie, as Carlos Gomez nailed him with a come-backer straight to the chest.

Mengden would complete the inning, but the wheels fell off in the fifth. Jake Marisnick singled to left and moved to third on a bloop single by Jason Castro. George Springer loaded the bases with a walk. Singles from Marwin Gonzalez and Correa along with a force out allowed three runs to score for the Astros.

Jose Altuve was thrown out attempting to score on the Correa line drive as Correa was caught in a pickle between first and second.

Luis Valbuena put Houston up 6-3 with a single to score Correa from second.

Yonder Alonso scored on a passed ball in the seventh inning to pulls the A's within two runs. Danny Worth pushed the lead back to three, driving in Valbuena from second.

The table was set for Harris in the ninth to pick up his 10th save of the season. Harris gave up extra base hits to Billy Butler (a double) and Alonso (a home run). But the Astros still led 7-6. Harris struck out Semien to put the Astros two outs away from the win.

But Jake Smolinski and Jed Lowrie reached on hits to left, Lowrie's double put the game-tying and the go-ahead runs in scoring position.

Michael Feliz entered the game to limit the damage, he wasn't able to. Khris Davis doubled to center, scoring two and putting the A's in front 8-7.

Josh Reddick singled to right to add one more insurance run. The inning ended with a strikeout of Danny Valencia.

Marwin Gonzalez didn't raise spirits as he opened the bottom of the ninth with a bunt attempt that was easily fielded by closer Ryan Madon.

Altuve followed with a single and stole second. The Astros were able to get runners on the corners after a passed ball strike three on Madison with Correa at the plate.

Valbuena didn't wait long to end the night. He crushed a first pitch 90-MPH cutter deep into the Houston night. Valbuena watched the home run sail out of the park with both arms in the air.