It was playoff caliber theatrics as the Astros took on the last place Tampa Bay Rays.
The excitement got started early as George Springer led things off with a walk in the bottom of the 1st. A stolen base got Springer to 2nd and an Alex Bregman single allowed Springer to go to 3rd. After Altuve grounded into a force out at first that scored Springer, things started to get interesting.
Cognizant of the fact that Altuve wanted to steal 2nd base, Rays starter Drew Smyly tried to keep Altuve at bay with a pickoff attempt. The throw went past Rays 1st baseman Brad Miller, and allowed Altuve to not only take 2nd, but also 3rd base as the ball was thrown back to the Rays pitcher Smyly. It was an MVP-level heads up play by Altuve. After a Carlos Correa walk, a single by Evan Gattis scored Altuve. A Jake Marisnick solo home run in the 2nd would put the Astros up 3-0.
The Rays attempted to comeback in the top of the 3rd with a lead-off double by outfielder Mikie Mahtook. Unfortunately for Mahtook, he got greedy and tried to stretch his double into a triple and was thrown out at 3rd on a perfectly placed relay throw from Carlos Correa via outfielder Jake Marisnick. This proved to be critical at saving a run when Rays outfielder Corey Dickerson followed with a double. A wild pitch, a walk, and another wild pitch would allow Dickerson to score before a popout by Kevin Kiermaier ended the Tampa Bay threat.
The Rays again channeled their 3rd inning mojo when Corey Dickerson doubled off Astros starter Mike Fiers, reached 3rd base via sac bunt, and once again scored on a wild pitch by Mike Fiers. We get it Mike, you had your Wheaties today but let's calm down and take it down a few notches.
Things got dicey in the 7th when Logan Morrison singled to lead things off and advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt. With Corey Dickerson up next the Astros decided that they had seen enough of the Mike Fiers/Corey Dickerson show and brought in Michael Feliz to finish the inning. Dickerson (what is up with this guy?!) decided he wasn't tired of slugging Astros pitching and doubled ONCE AGAIN to plate Morrison and tie the game. There were reports that Dickerson also left a flaming brown paper bag full of poop on Mike Fiers' porch after the game but they have thus far been unconfirmed. In any case, Dickerson's double denied Fiers the win for the night.
The moment of truth came in the 9th inning when Mikie Mahtook belted a home run from an offering by Astros reliever Ken Giles. This set up Giles for the loss on the night until Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis both cried out in unison that they would not go silently into this late summer night and belted back-to-back solo home runs to win the game for the Astros. Be happy, the good guys won this one!