Astros' Top 10 moments of 2019 season
HOUSTON -- The Astros headed back to the postseason for the fourth time in five years after securing a third consecutive American League West title, then won the AL pennant and took the Nationals to Game 7 of the World Series before bowing out.
Let’s look back at the Top 10 moments of the 2019 season.
1. Astros advance to World Series
Oct. 19 vs. Yankees
In one of most dramatic moments in club history, José Altuve crushed an Aroldis Chapman slider for a towering walk-off two-run homer in the ninth inning to score George Springer and clinch the AL pennant in a 6-4 win over the Yankees in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series at raucous Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the best-of-seven series, 4-2, to punch their second ticket to the World Series in three seasons. The homer came moments after DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.
2. Astros advance to ALCS
Oct. 10 vs. Rays
In a winner-take-all Game 5 of the AL Division Series, Houston scored four times in the first inning and rode the pitching of Gerrit Cole to a 6-1 win to clinch the series. Cole struck out 10 batters and allowed two hits, including one homer -- a leadoff shot by Eric Sogard in the second inning -- over eight innings to win his 18th consecutive decision.
3. Verlander spins third career no-hitter
Aug. 31 vs. Blue Jays
Justin Verlander threw his third career no-hitter by allowing one walk and striking out 14 during a 2-0 win in Toronto. Rookie Abraham Toro, a native of Canada, hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to break a scoreless tie. With his third no-hitter, Verlander joined Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, Larry Corcoran and Cy Young as the sixth pitcher ever to throw three or more in their careers.
4. Astros clinch third consecutive AL West title
Sept. 22 vs. Angels
Verlander won his 20th game and Springer clobbered homers in each of his first three at-bats to lead the Astros to a 13-5 win over the Angels to Minute Maid Park that clinched their third consecutive AL West title.
5. Four pitchers combine on no-hitter
Aug. 3 vs. Mariners
In his first start since being traded from the Blue Jays, Aaron Sanchez threw six no-hit innings and then watched Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski finish off the second combined no-hitter in Astros history, and 12th overall by the club, during a 9-0 win at Minute Maid Park.
6. Reddick’s game-saving catch
May 9 vs. Rangers
Right-fielder Josh Reddick robbed outfielder Hunter Pence of what would have been a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning when he reached over the wall to pull back a home run during the Astros’ 4-2 win. Reddick was able to reach over the wall unimpeded by the arms and gloves of fans in the right-field seats after the heavy thunderstorms that hit downtown Houston caused rain to fall inside the retractable-roof ballpark, forcing the first three rows of the seats to be vacated.
7. Astros come back from 7-0 deficit
Sept. 5 vs. Mariners
Houston pulled off its biggest comeback in more than 25 years when it wiped out a 7-0 deficit and won, 11-9, at Minute Maid Park. Wade Miley became the first Astros pitcher in 30 years to not record an out without being injured or ejected, but Michael Brantley hit a two-run, walk-off homer in the 13th inning to win the game.
8. Astros hit 2 grand slams in same game
April 12 vs. Mariners
Houston belted two grand slams in a game for only the third time in its history during a 10-6 win at Seattle. Altuve hit a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning, and Yuli Gurriel joined the barrage in the eighth when he launched his fourth career slam. The Astros also accomplished the feat on June 8, 2014, against the Twins (Jon Singleton and Chris Carter) and July 30, 1969 (Denis Menke and Jimmy Wynn).
9. Astros score 23 runs
Aug. 10 vs. Orioles
In beating Baltimore, 23-2, the Astros set franchise records for most runs in a game, most extra-base hits in a game (13) and tied franchise records for most hits (25) and homers (six) in a game. Three of those homers were hit by rookie Yordan Alvarez, giving him 51 RBIs in his first 45 games, surpassing Ted Williams’ mark of 47 in 1939. Carlos Correa added a 474-foot blast in the win that is the longest tracked homer at Camden Yards.
10. Kemp hits walk-off HR
April 27 vs. Indians
The goal for Tony Kemp was to get on base and to try to spark a rally. The last thing he could have imagined was sparking a celebration at home plate. Kemp turned on a 2-1 sinker from Indians reliever Adam Cimber and sent it 360 feet down the right-field line for a pinch-hit, walk-off homer to lead off the 10th inning and send the Astros to a 4-3 win.