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Astros' Top 10 moments of 2019 season

@brianmctaggart
September 22, 2019

HOUSTON -- The Astros are headed back to the postseason for the fourth time in five years having secured a third consecutive American League West title and a great chance at the best record in baseball, which is something they’ve never accomplished. Let’s look back at the Top 10 moments

HOUSTON -- The Astros are headed back to the postseason for the fourth time in five years having secured a third consecutive American League West title and a great chance at the best record in baseball, which is something they’ve never accomplished.

Let’s look back at the Top 10 moments from the regular season.

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1) Justin Verlander joined an elite group of pitchers when he threw his third career no-hitter on Sept. 1 in Toronto. Verlander issued a one-out walk in the first inning and proceeded to mow down the next 26 batters. The game was tied in the ninth before rookie Abraham Toro hit a two-run homer to put Verlander in position to finish the ninth inning with the lead. He struck out 14 batters.

2) In his first start since being acquired from the Blue Jays on July 31, right-hander Aaron Sanchez threw six no-hit innings on Aug. 3, and three Astros relievers combined to finish off the team’s first combined no-hitter since June 11, 2003, at Yankee Stadium. Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski each threw an inning to polish off the 12th no-no in Astros history in a 9-0 victory.

3) Right-fielder Josh Reddick robbed Rangers outfielder Hunter Pence of what would have been a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning when he reached over the wall to pull back a home run on May 9 in Houston in the Astros’ 4-2 win. Reddick was able to reach over the wall unimpeded by the arms and gloves of fans in the right-field seats after the heavy thunderstorms that hit downtown Houston caused rain to fall inside the retractable-roof ballpark, forcing the first three rows of the seats to be vacated.

4) The Astros pulled off their biggest comeback in more than 25 years when they wiped out a 7-0 deficit against the Mariners for an 11-9 win on Sept. 5 at Minute Maid Park. Wade Miley became the first Astros pitcher in 30 years to not record an out without being injured or ejected, but Michael Brantley hit a two-run, walk-off homer in the 13th inning to win the game.

5) The Astros made four trades July 31, none bigger than the Trade Deadline-busting deal to acquire the six-time All-Star and former AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. The deal was finalized inside the final two minutes before the Trade Deadline after the front office became comfortable with the haul of players heading to the D-backs, as well as owner Jim Crane signing off on the financial commitment. Houston sent four players to Arizona, including three of its five top prospects.

6) Tony Kemp turned on a 2-1 sinker from Indians reliever Adam Cimber and sent it 360 feet down the right-field line for a pinch-hit, walk-off homer to lead off the 10th inning and send the Astros to a 4-3 win over the Indians on April 27 at Minute Maid Park. The homer snapped the Astros’ two-game losing streak against Cleveland and broke Kemp’s 0-for-12 slump.

7) Manager AJ Hinch won his 500th career game when the Astros beat the Cubs, 9-6, at Minute Maid Park on May 28. Alex Bregman, starting at designated hitter, blasted a pair of home runs -- giving him a club-record 12 in the month of May. Of those 500 wins, 411 came while Hinch was manager of the Astros.

8) In beating Baltimore, 23-2, on Aug. 10, the Astros set franchise records for most runs in a game, most extra-base hits in a game (13) and tied franchise records for most hits (25) and homers (six) in a game. Three of those homers were hit by rookie Yordan Alvarez, giving him 51 RBIs in his first 45 games, surpassing Ted Williams’ mark of 47 in 1939.

9) The Astros belted two grand slams in a game for only the third time in their history in a 10-6 win over the Mariners on April 12 at Seattle. Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning, and Yuli Gurriel joined the barrage in the eighth when he launched his fourth career grand slam. The Astros also accomplished the feat on June 8, 2014, against the Twins (Jon Singleton and Chris Carter) and July 30, 1969 (Denis Menke and Jimmy Wynn).

10) The Astros clinched their third consecutive American League West title by beating the Angels, 13-5, on Sept. 22 in the regular-season finale at Minute Maid Park. George Springer homered in his first three at-bats, and Justin Verlander worked five innings to win 20 games for the second time in his career. The Astros went 60-21 at home, including 32-6 against AL West teams.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.