The Astros were down to their last out, ready to accept a 3-0 loss to the Angels on Sunday. A loss would’ve resulted in a series sweep in L.A. and would have reduced the Astros’ first-place lead in the AL West to a half-game over the Rangers.
Preston Tucker, though, kept hope alive, belting a solo home run to right field off of closer Huston Street. George Springer then tripled, and Jose Altuve brought him in with a single to make it 3-2. The rally continued. Carlos Correa reached on an infield single, pushing the tying run to second base and putting the go-ahead run on first base. Pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie had bigger things in mind, and he sent a 2-1 change-up down the right field line, just past a leaping Kole Calhoun for a three-run home run to put the Astros up 5-3.
Closer Luke Gregerson came on in the bottom of the ninth and retired the Angels in order to seal the win.
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Red Sox starter Rich Hill dominated the Rays on Sunday afternoon, making his first start since 2009. The well-traveled left-hander tossed seven shutout innings, yielding only one hit and one walk while striking out 10 batters as the Red Sox enjoyed a 2-0 victory.
Hill, 35, spent the 2010-12 seasons with the Red Sox but accrued only 31 2/3 innings due to elbow and forearm injuries. He spent time with the Indians, Angels, and Yankees prior to signing a minor league deal with the Nationals in late February. The Nationals, however, released Hill in June and the Red Sox signed him to a minor league deal in August.
Hill’s game score of 84 ranks as the second-best start of his career. The only better game resulted in a 92 game score, when he threw nine shutout innings on two hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts against the Reds on September 16, 2006. Entering Sunday’s action, only 74 of over 4,200 games started this season (less than two percent) resulted in a game score of 84 or better.
The Marlins are likely to tender a contract to starter Henderson Alvarez by the early December deadline, but are unlikely to do so with reliever Aaron Crow, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Both pitchers are currently on their way back from surgical procedures. The Marlins will wait for medicals to come back before making a decision on Alvarez.
Alvarez, 25, underwent surgery on his right shoulder in late July. He made two starts in April before landing on the disabled list for over a month, then made two more starts in May before going back on the shelf. He allowed 18 runs (16 earned) on 28 hits and seven walks with nine strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.
Crow, 28, suffered a UCL tear in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in early April. The Marlins acquired him from the Royals in November for Brian Flynn and minor leaguer Reid Redman.
Alvarez will be eligible for his second year of arbitration after earning $4 million in 2015. Crow will be eligible in his third and final year after earning $1.975 million.
The Mets were in high spirits after coming back to win on Sunday against the Braves, completing a four-game sweep in Atlanta, running their winning streak to seven games, and securing their first winning season since 2008. But something rustled infielder Juan Uribe‘s jimmies.
Uribe joined his teammates on the plane as the team will head back home to host the Marlins on Monday. Third baseman David Wright put a football game on, but that wasn’t a decision that had Uribe’s support. Via Newsday’s Marc Carig:
Uribe went 1-for-5, filling in at third base for Wright on Sunday. He’s hitting .219 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 129 plate appearances since joining the Mets.
Giants pitchers really know how to hit. Three of them had homered this season entering Sunday’s action: Madison Bumgarner (five), Tim Hudson (once), and Ryan Vogelsong (once). Mike Leake became the fourth, drilling a go-ahead, three-run shot to left field in the second inning against Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne.
Leake had homered earlier this season as a member of the Reds, so he now has two on the season and six in his career.
According to Baseball Reference, the Giants are the 63rd team since 1901 to have at least four pitchers hit at least one home run in the same season. 15 of them had five pitchers homer at least once. The Giants would need Chris Heston or Jake Peavy, most likely, to go yard to join that elite group.