HOUSTON --- With the way Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel is swinging the bat lately, outfielder Josh Reddick felt as though it was inevitable that Houston was about to complete its 24th comeback of the season, swiping yet another game in which a loss seemed all but certain.After allowing a
HOUSTON --- With the way Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel is swinging the bat lately, outfielder Josh Reddick felt as though it was inevitable that Houston was about to complete its 24th comeback of the season, swiping yet another game in which a loss seemed all but certain.
After allowing a grand slam and two more runs to the Yankees, the Astros (55-28) used a four-run eighth inning to overcome a three-run deficit, taking the second game of the series, 7-6, and winning their 10th one-run game this season.
With Houston trailing, 6-5, and with two men on and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, all Gurriel needed was to a put 100.2-mph fastball from Albertin Chapman in play.
"He's the best closer in the game right now," Gurriel said. "It's a huge victory for us. ... It's always special when you beat the Yankees."
"I don't think we all had any doubt that [Gurriel] was going to get the job done," Reddick said.
Gurriel roped Chapman's triple-digit heat to left field with an exit velocity of 101.5 mph, per Statcast™, making it the fastest pitch Gurriel has hit in his career. (The previous was a double off a 100-mph fastball from Boston's Joe Kelly on June 18.)
"[Gurriel] was incredibly patient," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. "That's about as mature of an at-bat as you can get in that situation. It was a really special at-bat."
Before Gurriel put the Astros ahead, Jose Altuve drew a walk and stole second base -- and eventually third -- with a sprint speed of 29.5 feet per second, well above MLB's baserunning sprint speed average of 27 feet per second.
Shortstop Carlos Correa scored Altuve on a groundout before catcher Evan Gattis sent Dellin Betances' high-and-inside 98.8-mph fastball over the left-field wall.
Gattis' solo shot, with an exit velocity of 103.5 mph, came on the hardest pitch on the inside edge that any hitter has sent out this season, besting Javier Baez's homer off a 98.3-mph fastball.
Following Gattis' homer, Carlos Beltran -- who was replaced by the pinch-running Reddick -- and Marwin Gonzalez drew consecutive walks, and both scored on Gurriel's double, completing the Astros' comeback.
"This game will show you something crazy every single day," Hinch said.
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.