O ye of little faith. Did you think the Astros would lose forever?
Tonight felt like old times. The Astros bunched some hits, and the old bonus baby, Lance McCullers, reminded us of why we always loved him.
After getting shelled in his last start for eight runs in 3.2 innings, tonight he was nearly perfect for seven. He allowed no runs, only one hit on a ball that could have been fielded, and one hit batter.
We need Lance and if tonight was any indication, he is rounding back into form.
The Astros got their bats back on track as well after their humiliating five game road losing streak, starting with a Carlos Correa RBI single that scored Yuli Gurriel, who doubled off Giants starter Logan Webb in front of him. In the third, the Astros added four more runs, highlighted by Michael Brantley’s Texas league two-run double that landed on the left field foul line. The final Astros run came in the sixth off a Martin Maldonado solo homer, a line drive into the Crawford Boxes.
The Giants made the game interesting in the eighth and ninth innings. Austin Slater homered off reliever Josh James in the eighth for the Giants’ first run.
In the ninth, James walked Mike Yaztrzemski (yeah, he’s got pedigree), followed by an Alex Dickerson single and a Donovan Solano double that scored Yaztrzemski.
That was all for James. Closer Ryan Pressly got the next two batters to fly out, but Brandon Crawford got a two-run single, Austin Slater singled behind Crawford, bringing the winning run to the plate in pinch-hitter Evan Longoria. Longoria hit a line drive straight to center fielder Myles Straw, preserving the win for the Stros.
Obviously, despite the good news of a victory and an outstanding start by McCullers, the problems we’ve seen so far with Josh James and Ryan Pressly were apparent again tonight.
At least the bats created enough runs to stave off the late run by the opposition, giving the Astros the win, and helping them re-take second place and gain a game on the Oakland A’s, who lost to the Angels, 10-9.
Box score and videos HERE.