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Hot Carter scorches walk-off homer for Astros

HOUSTON -- The Astros had plenty of obstacles to overcome on Thursday night. They lost their best hitter to an injury, experienced a blown save, went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, made a pair of errors and committed both runner's interference and catcher's interference.

That they found a way to pull out a win is proof of just how far they've come.

Chris Carter, who homered twice on Wednesday, continued his hot streak by hitting a walk-off home run to left field in the bottom of the 10th inning to send the Astros to a 5-4 win over the D-backs at Minute Maid Park.

"It's just speaks to the resiliency of our ballclub," manager Bo Porter said. "We tell them, 'Just move on to the next play.' Things are going to happen in his game. Once it happened, it's over, and you cannot allow it to affect you as you move forward and continue to play the game."

Carter blasted a 2-2 pitch from J.J. Putz high over the left-field wall for his second career walk-off homer and the Astros' first since June 20, 2013. Carter has hit seven homers in his last 13 games to take over the team lead.

The walk-off shot was one of three homers hit by the Astros, who are fourth in the Majors, with 74.

"You've got to keep the ball in the ballpark," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We didn't do a very good job of that tonight. Three home runs sunk us."

Carter's improved the Astros to 20-11 since May 11.

"It's the greatest feeling in baseball," Carter said. "That's what you dream of out there -- hitting a walk-off home run in a game and jumping around with everybody celebrating."

But he was just one of many heroes for the Astros.

Dexter Fowler and Carlos Corporan each had three hits, and Jose Altuve went 2-for-3 before leaving the game in the seventh inning after being hit on the hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative, and he is day to day.

Houston's young stars -- rookies George Springer and Jon Singleton -- each enjoyed big games. Singleton blasted a tape-measure homer into the upper deck in right field in the third inning, complete with an impressive flip of the bat. And Springer flew through the air to make a highlight-reel catch in the fifth inning and outdid himself with another dive in the eighth to start a double play.

"That's actually one of those balls I was talking to Dexter [Fowler] about. It's hit, and you just say 'Go' in your head, and you're kind of like, 'Go, go, go, don't dive, don't dive … Dive!" Springer said. "It's one of those things that if that gets past me, he obviously can score easy. It stayed up in the air, and I was able to get to it."

Corporan's two-run homer to left field in the fourth put the Astros ahead, 4-1, and starter Scott Feldman was pulled after giving up a homer to Chris Owings in the seventh that cut the lead to one run.

"We grind it to the end, and nobody gives up, and we keep playing hard," Corporan said. "Somebody is going to step up, I know. We're coming to the ballpark expecting to win, and we know somebody's going to do it for us, and today it was Carter. Tomorrow it might be another guy. This is what a winning team looks like."

Feldman threw 6 1/3 solid innings -- his longest start in more than two months -- and held the D-backs to three runs (two earned) on four hits and no walks. He was in line for the win before Miguel Montero homered off Chad Qualls to tie the score in the ninth.

"It's a lot better than 1 2/3, that was my main thought," said Feldman, who didn't survive the second inning on Saturday in Minnesota. "I wanted to get that taste out of my mouth, and luckily tonight the guys played some great defense behind me, and there were some great catches and got a few big hits, too."

Qualls' blown save ended his streak of scoreless innings at 17 2/3 and snapped his run of seven successful save conversions, but it did little to slow the Astros.

"We're a very resilient team," Springer said. "When stuff doesn't go exactly how you script it or hope and still have a great team win, it shows how resilient our team is."

Brian McTaggart is reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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