HOUSTON -- The Astros' first hit of the Padres series with runners in scoring position certainly was as unpredictable as they come. Considering how much the Astros had struggled offensively in the series, they'll take it.After going a combined 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position in Friday's series opener and
HOUSTON -- The Astros' first hit of the Padres series with runners in scoring position certainly was as unpredictable as they come. Considering how much the Astros had struggled offensively in the series, they'll take it.
After going a combined 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position in Friday's series opener and most of Saturday's game, the Astros came away with a 1-0 walk-off win in the 10th inning when the Padres couldn't catch a popup by Alex Bregman with two outs, allowing Derek Fisher to score from second base.
"I thought that I just missed it and that I should have crushed it," Bregman said.
Padres reliever Phil Maton coaxed Bregman into swinging at a 3-2 cutter high in the strike zone and got him to pop it up in the infield. Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer charged in and overran the ball, allowing it to drop behind him as Fisher crossed home with the winning run.
"It's a high popup with the roof and anything can happen," Fisher said. "Obviously, at that point of the game, you have to take advantage of anything you can, and we did."
Hosmer made no excuses for the miscue.
"That's my ball all the way," Hosmer said. "I just overran it, put my head down, tried to run in and make up some ground. By the time I looked up, it was past me. It's on me. It's my ball. I'll be ready to go [Sunday]."
Astros starter Gerrit Cole, who allowed two hits and one run and struck out 11 in his Astros debut Sunday against the Rangers in Arlington, was even better in his home debut, throwing seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts. Cole's 22 strikeouts are a club record for a pitcher in his first two starts with the Astros.
The Astros (7-2) have tied their franchise record for best start through nine games following Saturday's wild ending.
"If you watch enough games I guess you see everything," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "They tell you that. I've never really seen that before. That wasn't very predictable, except you could tell at the end they were having a hard time getting to the ball. Hosmer was racing pretty fast. Very unexpected, but we'll take it."
The Padres have held the Astros' high-octane offense to two runs and without an extra-base hit in the first two games of the series.
"They've done well against us so far, and I think [Sunday] we need to step up and come and compete," Bregman said.
Astros catcher Brian McCann, who had tumbled into a camera well in the top of the 10th trying to chase a foul pop, led off the bottom of the inning with a single. Fisher ran for him and stole second, though he was initially called out. That put him in position to score the winner on a Bregman hit for the second time in less than a week.
"That's one of the good things about this team," Bregman said, "Derek Fisher doesn't take the play off. He doesn't take anything for granted. He's busting his butt from second base and scores. He could have easily have jogged and said, 'Aw, he caught it' or whatever. But that's not how we play here."
Of course, Bregman also drove Fisher home from second base on a walk-off hit to win Game 5 of the World Series last October, so they have some history for the dramatics.
"I love Fisher at second base," Bregman said with a smile.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Leave 'em loaded: Padres starter Bryan Mitchell worked his way out of a huge jam in the fifth inning when the Astros loaded the bases with two outs. Marwin Gonzalez had a leadoff walk, Jake Marisnick singled with two outs and George Springer drew a walk after falling behind, 0-2. Bregman punched the next pitch into right field for a routine flyout to strand the bases loaded.
Containing Correa: If you can't get Jose Altuve out, you better be able to get Carlos Correa out. That strategy worked out well for Mitchell, who allowed Altuve to reach all three times he faced him, only to get Correa out in the cleanup spot each time. That included double plays in the fourth and sixth innings after Altuve drew leadoff walks. Correa lined into a double play to end the eighth, stranding Bregman at first.
"Their game plan has been strong," Hinch said. "They've been able to execute a lot of pitches, and they're giving us different looks. They haven't thrown too many hittable pitches."
"I was just running. No matter what, he catches it, he doesn't catch it, I was going to make sure I touch home plate." -- Fisher, on his game-ending run
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The win marked the Astros' first 10-inning shutout since a 2-0 victory over the Reds on May 30, 2010, at Cincinnati.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Fisher, who pinch-ran for McCann after he singled to start the 10th, was initially called out trying to steal second, but Hinch challenged and got the call overturned. Hinch said he was going to challenge regardless of what his replay guys saw.
"At that time of the game, obviously the challenge is going to get taken," he said. "The thing that makes you nervous about that is, is there a real angle that's going to make it overturned? Fisher felt like he was safe, we felt like he was safe, the video felt like he was safe, but you never know once you go to video."
Right-hander Charlie Morton closes out the series against the Padres at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday when he makes his second start of the season. Morton pitched the home opener on Monday and fired six scoreless innings against the Orioles, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six batters.
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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.