HOUSTON -- Allowing the Rangers to rally from a five-run deficit and steal a 6-5 win in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park certainly isn't the kind of performance Astros relievers expect to define them going forward.Houston's bullpen had been terrific through the team's first 14 games,
HOUSTON -- Allowing the Rangers to rally from a five-run deficit and steal a 6-5 win in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park certainly isn't the kind of performance Astros relievers expect to define them going forward.
Houston's bullpen had been terrific through the team's first 14 games, allowing more than one earned run only once. The Rangers scored three times in the eighth off Brad Peacock on Saturday, including homers by Joey Gallo and Ronald Guzman, and pushed across a run in the 10th off Will Harris to win.
"It was just not being able to complete the at-bats," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "They got a couple late-at-bat sliders they hit. Gallo's was almost going to hit him in the knee. That was a pretty good job by him for staying inside and keeping it fair barely. It looked like Guzman's was coming back, back door, and then it came over the plate. We're certainly not used to that. A little bit of good hitting, a little bit of mistake lateral breaking balls, and both of them left the yard."
Peacock, who allowed eight homers to lefties in 243 plate appearances in his breakout season last year, has given up three to left-handed hitters already this year, all on sliders. Gallo sent one down the right-field line in the third for a two-run homer to make it 5-4, and Guzman homered to right one out later to tie it.
"The one to Gallo was pretty good, I thought," Peacock said. "He put the bat on it. It just wasn't my day today. I've just got to be better against lefties. I haven't done a good job against them this year and I have to try to change something up and figure it out."
The Rangers pushed the go-ahead run across against Harris, who walked Jurickson Profar with one out and watched him score on an infield hit off Harris' leg. The Astros rallied in the 10th against reliever Tony Barnette when Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve led off the inning with singles, but Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick couldn't come through with a game-tying hit.
"We had a good chance and had some at-bats, and we just couldn't push the right one across at the very end," Hinch said. "Obviously, at that point in our order, we feel really good. You get a couple of guys on base and no outs and put some pressure on them, but they made the pitches and got out of it."
The Astros took a 5-0 lead in the fourth on a span of two pitches on a two-run double with the bases loaded by Correa and a three-run homer by Gurriel. Astros starter Charlie Morton struck out a career-high-tying 12 batters in six innings and he allowed a pair of solo homers to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Adrian Beltre to let the Rangers get within 5-2.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
With the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning, Harris got Guzman to hit a grounder right back up the middle. The ball caromed off his glove and foot, and it rolled towards short, allowing Profar to score the decisive run. The Astros were positioned up the middle defensively where they could have had a shot at a double play had the ball gone past Harris.
"It's 60 feet and he doesn't have much time," Hinch said. "He's just got to react. He got a little unlucky it kicked off of him. If he catches it, it's probably a double play; if he gets out of the way somehow, it's probably a double play. It doesn't even really matter now. It wasn't. A pitcher is never going to really have that much time to react to do it perfectly."
Altuve has reached base in 15 consecutive games against the Rangers, hitting .418 with a .492 on-base percentage in that span.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Astros third baseman Bregman threw out Beltre from foul territory in the fourth inning with a perfect 153-foot arcing throw, according to Statcast™. Bregman backhanded the ball and his momentum carried him a few steps into foul territory before he was able to make the long throw across the diamond for the out.
The Astros and Rangers will both wear No. 42 on their jerseys for Sunday's game at Minute Maid Park in honor of Jackie Robinson Day at 7:08 p.m. CT. The Astros will host a pregame reception, featuring Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars and alumni, former Astros players and several community leaders. Justin Verlander (2-0, 1.45 ERA) will face Rangers righty Bartolo Colon in the homestand finale.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.