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Red-hot Gurriel hits grand slam in walk-off win

Third baseman homers in 5th straight game; Springer's 10th-inning knock seals Houston's victory
July 7, 2019

HOUSTON -- If there’s one player not looking forward to the All-Star break, it has to be Yuli Gurriel, who continued his torrid hitting on Sunday. Another game, another home run for the Houston third baseman. Gurriel’s sixth-inning grand slam tied the game and jump-started a rally that led to

HOUSTON -- If there’s one player not looking forward to the All-Star break, it has to be Yuli Gurriel, who continued his torrid hitting on Sunday.

Another game, another home run for the Houston third baseman. Gurriel’s sixth-inning grand slam tied the game and jump-started a rally that led to an 11-10 Astros win in 10 innings over the Angels at Minute Maid Park.

Box score

Gurriel has homered in five consecutive games and in nine of his last 11 in extending his hitting streak to 11 games.

“Yuli has been incredible, and I know he needs a little rest at this break, but I want to put him in the lineup tomorrow,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “He’s doing such a good job of being clutch and getting good pitches to hit.

“I like that he’s not getting too greedy. The grand slam is a huge game changer for us, but he’s in every at-bat. The home runs are awesome, and it’s an incredible streak of homers in a short period of time, but the quality of at-bats have been legit for a good while now.”

Last week against Seattle, Gurriel had two walk-off hits in the 10th inning. On Sunday, George Springer delivered Houston’s 10-inning walk-off hit, singling in Josh Reddick from second base for the game-winner. The Astros trailed 7-2 midway through the 4 hour, 49-minute game.

Mike Trout homered twice and Shohei Ohtani added a homer for the Angels.

With still 72 games remaining, the first-place Astros (57-33) set a franchise record with eight grand slams in a season. They also have seven walk-off wins.

Gurriel’s 407-foot homer to left field off Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian knotted the game, 8-8, and was the third baseman’s 14th of the season. It also was his fifth career grand slam and a franchise single-season record eighth grand slam for the Astros.

“My primary focus is just to hit the ball hard,” Gurriel said via an interpreter. “But knowing that I’m seeing the ball well, going through a good stretch, I’m also trying to lift the ball as well.”

And what a stretch of hitting it’s been for Gurriel, who added an eighth-inning single and scored the run that tied the game at 10.

Gurriel has hit six homers over the last six games, and he has at least one RBI in seven straight contests. His hitting streak reached 11 games with the grand slam, which left the bat at 103 mph at a launch angle of 28 degrees, according to Statcast.

“There’s some times during the season when you can’t even hit a fly ball,” Gurriel said. “So when you’re going good like this, you've got to take advantage of it.”

Jose Urquidy was roughed up in his brief outing, his second Major League start for the Astros. In 2 1/3 innings, he allowed five runs and eight hits.

Michael Brantley had hits in his last four at-bats to pace Houston’s season-high 19-hit attack. Yordan Alvarez and Tyler White had three hits each.