News of the demise of the Astros 2023 edition is greatly exaggerated.
I was ready to write the season obituary tonight. And honestly, I don’t see a bright future with so many injuries in the starting rotation. And yes, I count Cristian Javier in that group, even if the injury can’t be traced to physical causes.
But even though Javier gave up three runs in his first four batters, and only made it through the fourth inning after surrendering six runs on eight hits and only one K, the Astros found a way to win with a major five run explosion in the eighth inning.
The Astros looked frisky right from the start, getting three runs in the first on a Jose Altuve double, Kyle Tucker double, a Alex Bregman walk, a Jose Abreu sac fly and a Jeremy Pena RBI single.
But the Cardinals put up four runs on Javier in the first inning to take the lead, a lead they would hold until the Astros’ big eighth inning.
The Cardinals added a run in the second on a Paul Goldschmidt solo homer, but Javier managed to hold the Cards in the third. But Goldschmidt struck again in the fourth with an RBI single to give the Cards a 6-3 lead.
The Astros got two runs back in the sixth thanks to the new Astros offensive powerhouse, Martin Maldonado, who homered last night and hit a two run double to get the Astros to within a run at 6-5. However, Kyle Tucker struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
But the Cardinals extended their lead with a Brendan Donovan solo homer off reliever Shawn Dubin.
In the eighth the Astros came alive. Bligh Madris led off with a single followed by a Jake Meyers walk.
And then...Jose Altuve gave the Astros the lead with a homer to left field.
But the Astros weren’t done. Tucker hit a double and then — can you believe it—Jose Abreu homered him home.
Ryan Pressly saved the game for the Stros with a perfect ninth to preserve the Astros’ 10-7 win.
The Astros finally had an offensive explosion in a game when they needed it. The team had 11 hits, and got three RBI each from the Joses, Altuve and Abreu. Maldonado added two with his big double in the eighth. Kyle Tucker added an RBI with three hits.
And happily, the bullpen didn’t add a meltdown to Javier’s. In five innings the Cards only scored once on the bullpen, with Seth Martinez, Bryan Abreu and Pressly holding the Cards close until the offense could finally unload. Martinez got the win.