The Astros are making a habit out of this walk-off thing.
Jason Castro launched a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning this afternoon to give the Astros a 3-2 win over the Dodgers and complete a three-game sweep. It was their fourth walk-off win in their last eight games.
The Dodgers got a heck of an effort from Clayton Kershaw, who threw eight brilliant innings while allowing just one run and striking out 10 batters. However, Carlos Correa led off the bottom of the ninth with a single against closer Kenley Jansen and eventually stole second base before Marwin Gonzalez delivered a game-tying single with two outs. Castro ended things with a one-out homer against Chris Hatcher in the 10th, which was confirmed after replay review. You can watch the game-winning homer below.
The Astros sit at 69-56 on the year, with a four-game lead over the Rangers in the American League West. The fading Angels are 5 1/2 games back. As for the 67-56 Dodgers, they have lost five straight and things are starting to look dicey. If the Giants win tonight, they’ll be just a half-game back in the NL West. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks are five games out.
From the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Dodgers …
Van Slyke wound up missing just over two weeks with inflammation in the middle of his back. He is starting in left field and batting sixth in his return to action Wednesday night against Rangers lefty Wandy Rodriguez.
Hatcher is probably looking at a three-week absence. He felt a twinge in his oblique after a relief appearance Sunday against the Padres and an MRI taken Tuesday revealed the muscle strain. The 30-year-old right-hander has posted a rough 6.38 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and 19/7 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings this season.
The Dodgers will regain some stability at the back end of the bullpen on Saturday, as they’re expected to activate closer Kenley Jansen from the 15-day disabled list, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Jansen underwent foot surgery in February and started the season on the disabled list. He made five rehab appearances with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. The Dodgers utilized a bullpen-by-committeee in Jansen’s absence, with Joel Peralta picking up three saves, Chris Hatcher two, and Yimi Garcia one.
Manager Don Mattingly said Jansen won’t immediately reclaim his role as closer, so the aforementioned trio should still get some save opportunities over the next week or two, but it shouldn’t be long before Jansen starts racking up the saves as usual. He finished the 2014 season with a 2.76 ERA with a 101/19 K/BB ratio and 44 saves in 65 1/3 innings.