D-backs rally, upend Astros in extras
HOUSTON -- Welington Castillo and Jake Lamb launched back-to-back homers off reliever Pat Neshek to start the 10th inning and send the D-backs to their sixth consecutive win, 6-4, over the Astros in the series opener Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
Jason Castro's blasted a three-run homer in the fifth and Carlos Correa followed with a solo shot two outs later to give Houston a 4-1 lead. Arizona, which improved to 50-51, rallied with a pair in the sixth after David Peralta and Castillo began the inning with back-to-back hits, and Peralta delivered an RBI single off Tony Sipp in the seventh to tie the game.
"We did a great job of coming back," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "When we got down, the guys kept battling. We situationally hit. We got the runners in from third. Those are huge in a game like that."
The American League West-leading Astros, whose seven-game home winning streak was snapped, fell to 42-6 when holding the lead through six innings.
"Any time you have the lead at some point late in the game you feel like it got away from you a little bit," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We didn't play our best today in all aspects of the game. We had a tough time answering them and it cost us the game in a couple of different ways. We'll bounce back [Saturday]. It's just disappointing we didn't bring our best in all facets."
Neither starting pitcher figured into the decision. Scott Feldman of the Astros allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, and Rubby De La Rosa of the D-backs gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Castro can't play hero: After hitting a three-run walk-off homer Thursday and clubbing another three-run shot in the fifth inning Friday, Castro was at the plate in the bottom of the ninth with a chance to win the game again when Marwin Gonzalez got caught off first base for the third out. Gonzalez reached first only after pitcher Daniel Hudson dropped a relay throw and would have been out because he didn't run hard out of the box.
"That was the thing that shouldn't happen," Gonzalez said. "That should never happen on our team. This is a hustle team. It was a mistake by me." More >
Peralta off southpaw: Peralta has swung the bat well against left-handers of late and he delivered a big hit against Sipp, lining a single to right in the seventh that scored pinch-runner Cliff Pennington with the tying run.
"We got the big two-out hit by David off the lefty," Hale said. "I'm very proud of them. After a day off sometimes you're not ready to go. But they were ready. They were excited to play this game."
Gomez drops one: Center fielder Carlos Gomez, in his first game with the Astros after coming over in a trade with the Brewers, made a long run into right field in the sixth to try to catch a ball off the bat of Castillo, but it glanced off his glove for what was ruled a double. Castillo scored what turned out to be a crucial run.
"I know where my right fielder is, but then I took a peek and I see we're getting too close," said Gomez, who went 0-for-5. "And when I turn back to the ball, I already passed it. I tried to catch it but it was an error that cost a couple runs." More >
Beef Mode: Castillo has hit three homers in his past two games and four in his past three. Castillo homered Monday against the Mariners and then smacked two Wednesday before delivering the go-ahead shot Friday.
"I feel good," Castillo said. "I can't explain it honestly. Just being me. Just seeing the ball better, looking for my pitch and being confident at the plate, confident and not chasing the bad pitch." More >
"We've been playing pretty well and kind of seems like it's a game we should have won." -- Feldman
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The D-backs have won six consecutive Interleague road games, the second-longest streak of its kind in franchise history.
D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock was forced to leave the game after reaching second base in the seventh due to tightness behind his left knee. Pollock said he experienced the tightness during the team's recent series in Seattle and it cropped up again.
Hale said he planned on giving Pollock the day off Saturday, but the team does not feel the injury is serious.
D-backs: Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound Saturday at 4:10 p.m. MT at Minute Maid Park riding an impressive four-start stretch during which he is 2-1 with a 1.88 ERA. During that stretch, he has walked five and struck out 22. This will be his first career appearance against the Astros.
Astros:Coming off arguably his worst start of the season, Astros ace Dallas Keuchel will try to remain undefeated at Minute Maid Park this year Saturday at 6:10 p.m. CT. He's 9-0 with an MLB-best 1.13 ERA and 82 strikeouts at home.
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