PHOENIX -- Houston rallied to overcome a slow start Saturday night, but the Astros could not quite get over the hump.Pinch-hitters Brian McCann and Derek Fisher had two-out doubles to tie the game at 3 in the eighth inning, but an Arizona rally that started with a bunt single by
PHOENIX -- Houston rallied to overcome a slow start Saturday night, but the Astros could not quite get over the hump.
Pinch-hitters Brian McCann and Derek Fisher had two-out doubles to tie the game at 3 in the eighth inning, but an Arizona rally that started with a bunt single by a catcher and ended with a broken-bat single gave the D-backs a 4-3 walkoff victory.
"We gave ourselves a chance and I think that is all you can ask based on how we started the game and how the game was going," Houston manager AJ Hinch said. "We gave them a few too many walks today and they capitalized. And one foot short of an out there and we are still playing."
The Astros had a season-high eight walks, four by starter Charlie Morton when Arizona scored one run without a hit in the first inning and two by Chris Devenski that brought up Pollock in the ninth.
Hinch's "one foot short" was a reference to a pickoff play in the ninth inning, when Devenski seemed to come within a gnat's fingernail of picking pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson off first base for the first out of the ninth. Dyson was running for Jeff Mathis, who dropped an unplayable bunt down the third-base line to open the inning.
A replay review did not overturn the safe call on the field, even if it appeared that Dyson's hand might have slipped off the bag, and after two walks, Pollock hit a Brad Peacock slider into the hole between third and short, off the glove of diving third baseman Alex Bregman's reach.
"He put it down and got a runner on, and that's all they needed right there," Devenski said of Mathis' bunt. "Those two walks really hurt me."
Peacock entered with the bases loaded to face Pollock, the National League Player of the Month for April.
"He was probably going to ambush me, so first-pitch slider," Peacock said. "I made a good pitch, broke his bat. He's a great hitter. He put the bat on the ball and it found a hole."
The Astros never led, though they got close.
George Springer homered in the fifth inning to break Zack Greinke's shutout and to cut the deficit to 2-1 before Greinke doubled and scored in the last of the fifth for a 3-1 lead.
Springer has four hits in the series.
Well aware that Arizona right fielder Steven Souza Jr. was activated from the disabled list Thursday after missing the first five weeks with a pectoral muscle injury, the Astros had Morton pound Souza with fastballs in their two matchups. Morton fed Souza seven straight fastballs, the first six clocked at 96 mph and the last one at 94, and Souza grounded out twice. Hector Rondon threw two 97-mph fastballs and one at 98 to retire Souza on a deep fly ball to center field in the ninth.
HE SAID IT
"That game was a mess from the get-go. It's one of those games you don't want to throw. You want to be giving guys quality innings and certainly not walking a bunch of guys to lead off the game." -- Morton, on his outing
Justin Verlander will take a pair of perfect records and some eye-popping stats into his Sunday start against Arizona. Verlander has not lost in 12 starts since joining the Astros last July 31 and he has not lost to the D-backs in three career starts, all with Detroit. First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m. CT.
Jack Magruder is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix.