HOUSTON -- Yuli Gurriel's game-winning homer into the Crawford Boxes in the 10th inning sent the crowd into a Friday night frenzy and sparked a celebration on the field. Perhaps the Astros’ biggest hit of the night, however, came a couple of innings earlier.
Josh Reddick’s game-tying homer in the eighth inning awoke the Astros from their offensive slumber, and Gurriel won it in the 10th when he hammered a two-strike pitch into the seats for his first career walk-off homer and what manager AJ Hinch called an emotional 2-1 win over the Mariners at Minute Maid Park.
“It’s a big win for us, the way that it wall went down,” Hinch said. “With all the missed opportunities, I could easily sit here and say we needed one big hit. You could script it with the way the game was going, and then 'Redd' picks us up and ties the game.”
Gurriel -- whose younger brother, Lourdes Jr., homered twice for the Blue Jays on Friday -- was 0-for-4 with four popups on the infield before he delivered the game-winning blow off a Matt Festa fastball.
“I didn’t feel great in my previous at-bats, but in that at-bat I remained focused and locked in,” said Gurriel, who’s hitting .323 in his last 16 games. “I hit a foul ball and knew I could hit a fastball, and got the next one and put it out.”
The win was only the Astros’ third in their past 12 games and only their third this year when trailing after seven innings. Josh James, Ryan Pressly, Roberto Osuna and Will Harris each threw scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits.
Astros starter Wade Miley was terrific in holding the Mariners to three hits and one run -- a third-inning homer by Austin Nola -- in six innings. Seattle took the 1-0 lead into the eighth, when Reddick’s two-out homer off Anthony Bass tied it to snap Houston’s 17-inning scoreless drought.
“It felt more like one of our biggest hits in the last week and a half,” Reddick said. “That’s the swing we’ve been waiting on to pick up ourselves, the team and the ballpark. It’s a completely different atmosphere whenever I came across home plate and saw our dugout going crazy.”
Struggling to muster any kind of offense for the third game in a row, the Astros endured a dreadful seventh inning in which their fastest runner missed third base on the way home and two of their best hitters couldn’t come through with the bases loaded.
Myles Straw, who pinch-ran with one out and stole second base (after a Mariners challenged failed), tried to score on a single by Jake Marisnick. Third-base coach Gary Pettis waved the speedy Straw home, but he missed third and retreated to the base after a couple of steps.
Still, a walk to George Springer loaded the bases for Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman. Reliever Austin Adams got Altuve to ground into a fielder’s choice on a 3-0 pitch -- wiping out the runner coming home -- and Bregman struck out swinging on three pitches to end the rally.
“We just couldn’t do anything right that inning after we had the opportunity,” Hinch said. “It was a missed opportunity, but luckily we can wash that away and feel good about the night.”