Altuve caps 4-hit night with clutch RBI in 11th

July 14th, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Astros committed three errors in one inning, which led to a pair of runs, had a couple of costly baserunning gaffes and watched the Rangers blast three homers. It was nothing that couldn’t help them overcome.

Altuve tied his career high with four hits, breaking a tie in the 11th inning with a two-out double to left-center field to score a flying George Springer from first base, sending the Astros to a 7-6 win over the Rangers on Saturday night at Globe Life Park.

“We lost the first two games here, so we were trying to win a game and get some momentum,” Altuve said. “I just wanted to put the ball in play. When I hit it, I didn’t think George was going to score, but what he did was amazing. I hit the ball good, but probably 50 percent or more of the play was on him. I think we won because of him.”

Altuve recorded his 30th career four-hit game and is hitting .306 (26-for-85) in 19 games since coming off the injured list. It was his fourth career go-ahead RBI in extra innings.

“He’s battling every single day and he’s a great leader for this team,” said shortstop Alex Bregman, who homered in the fifth inning in his return to the lineup after missing Friday’s game.

Altuve’s hit put the Astros ahead, 6-5, and Myles Straw followed with an RBI single -- two innings after he was picked off at first as a pinch-runner -- with what turned out to be the winning run. That’s because the Rangers scored a run in the bottom of the inning off Roberto Osuna and stranded the tying run at second base to end the game for the Astros closer’s 20th save.

“It was a tough inning,” Osuna said. “I got up [in the bullpen] three or four times before that inning. The last three hitters, I was running out of gas. I was grinding and thank God I got the job done.”

That kind of perseverance went a long way for the Astros.

“We could easily talk about missed opportunities or mistakes, but we hung in there and I’m proud of our guys for being able to get through the game and get a win in a game we didn’t play our best,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “Altuve stepped up, Josh James had a huge couple of innings, and Straw a big tack-on run. We just continued to have different guys step up and do something positive to get a win.”

Straw, who got picked off at first base for the final out in the top of the ninth after replacing Michael Brantley, redeemed himself when he singled to right in the 11th to score Altuve after the Rangers intentionally walked Bregman.

“To go out there and run and to get picked off, you want to redeem yourself, and to get out there and get that, that insurance run, obviously we needed it,” Straw said. “It was awesome.”

Astros starter Wade Miley gave up back-to-back homers to Shin-Soo Choo and Danny Santana in the first inning to tie the game before competing well over the next 6 2/3 innings. Still, Delino DeShields Jr. turned a backdoor cutter into a solo homer to tie the game at the at 5 in the seventh inning.

“That ball just spun out of my hand. I was kind of hoping he didn’t swing when he came out, and he got me, tied back up,” Miley said. “But hey, the boys battled, the bullpen came in and kept it right there and gave us a chance.”