Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Houston Astros
news

Astros News

Straw, Astros race past M's in 14-inning thriller

@DKramer_
June 6, 2019

SEATTLE -- Myles Straw continued to make the most of his Major League opportunity in Thursday’s 8-7, 14-inning win over the Mariners, willing the Astros to an extra-innings win for the second time over their seven-game road trip. Straw legged out a triple to lead off the 14th on Thursday,

SEATTLE -- Myles Straw continued to make the most of his Major League opportunity in Thursday’s 8-7, 14-inning win over the Mariners, willing the Astros to an extra-innings win for the second time over their seven-game road trip.

Straw legged out a triple to lead off the 14th on Thursday, then scored on Yuli Gurriel's sacrifice fly to push Houston to its sixth win over its past week on the road. The pesky Mariners lurked again late, though, loading the bases against Chris Devenski in the bottom of the frame before he induced a popout by Shed Long to end the 5-hour, 6-minute contest.

Box score

“All is well that ends well,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “That was not a game that was expected given how it started, and even halfway through the nine-inning game, it felt like we were in complete control of it. And then the back half of that game got out of control.”

Straw’s heroics bailed out the typically lights-out back-end of the Astros' bullpen, which showed rare signs of vulnerability, with Will Harris and Ryan Pressly giving up runs for just the third time each and Roberto Osuna blowing his second save in 18 attempts.

Thrice, the Astros had the Mariners down to their final out, but Seattle played a pesky spoiler until Long’s game-ending popout.

After Osuna allowed a game-tying RBI single to Edwin Encarnacion in the ninth inning, Hector Rondon gave up a two-out, two-strike homer to Omar Narvaez in the 10th. Osuna had been brought on to bail out Pressly, who was brought on to bail out Harris, who attempted unsuccessfully to bail out Justin Verlander. Houston’s best starter and four best relievers couldn’t close the door.

The late-game struggles negated home runs by Robinson Chirinos, Alex Bregman and Jack Mayfield. Chirinos homered for his fourth straight game, while Bregman took the team lead with his 18th and Mayfield connected for his first career home run.

“You're seeing a taxed bullpen,” Hinch said. “Not to give them an excuse, but it's not easy to be up seven or eight times in 10 or 11 days. We're asking a lot out of them, and we need to find a way to win some games without them having to pitch. They're doing everything we ask. You're not used to seeing them walk guys."

Devenski was ultimately the game’s winning pitcher on a day that Verlander left in line for his 10th victory, which would’ve made him the first pitcher this season to reach the 10-win mark. Verlander struck out seven to bring his career total to 2,816, passing newly elected Hall of Famer Mike Mussina for 20th all-time.

“It's just one of those games where it seems like everything that can go wrong, did go wrong, and we still managed to come out on top," Verlander said. "We still managed to find a way to win. In some of these games, it just comes down to pure will. Who wants it the most? We were able to pull it out today. It was a hell of a ballgame."

After shoving through his first six innings, Verlander put two on in the seventh. Hinch called on Harris, who allowed both of those inherited runners to score en route to giving up three hits and a run of his own. Pressly got Houston out of the inning clinging to a 5-4 lead, but after the Astros scored an insurance run in the top of the eighth, he gave it right back in the bottom half.

Seattle then stormed back against Osuna in the ninth. Houston's relievers collectively walked nine batters over 7 2/3 innings.

Every available, non-rotation player made it into the game for the Astros, except left-handed reliever Reymin Guduan.

Statcast showcases Straw

On his first career triple, Straw accelerated to a sprint speed of 30.5 feet per second and went home-to-third in 11 seconds flat, according to Statcast, making it the fastest triple by an Astro since Statcast began tracking in 2015. On Sunday, Straw scored the game-winning run in the Astros’ 12-inning win in Oakland, while also flashing electric speed.

“He's the fastest guy we have in our organization and on our team,” Hinch said. “Usually, at any field that he's at, he's going to be the fastest guy. Obviously, great placement of the triple over [Domingo] Santana's head. He got lucky that the ball didn't bounce out of the ballpark for a ground-rule double.

“One of the reasons we love him so much is the pressure that he puts on with his legs. When he adds the bat to it, he's a really good player.”

The rookie wasn’t even scheduled to play against the Mariners, but he replaced Michael Brantley in the bottom of the ninth and moved to right field to give the Astros more athleticism and speed in the outfield, as they tried to preserve a 6-5 lead. Though that didn't go as planned, Straw later made the difference with his bat -- and speed.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.