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.
George Springer is finally beginning to make legit progress in his recovery from a fractured right wrist.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle on Sunday afternoon that the 25-year-old outfielder is lined up to take batting practice ahead of the Astros’ series opener against the Yankees on Monday evening in New York.
“It’s very encouraging,” said Hinch. “That’s when it starts to feel real that he’s becoming more and more of an active player, when his normal routine is like any other player on our team. … I’m thrilled with the progress that he’s made.”
Springer has been on the disabled list since July 2, a day after he took an Edinson Volquez pitch off his right arm. He was sporting an .822 OPS, 13 homers, and 14 steals in 75 games before the injury.
Springer should be ready to rejoin the AL West-leading Astros in early September.
Astros right-hander Lance McCullers was optioned to Double-A Corpus Christi on August 3 after failing to make it out of the first inning in a disastrous start against the Rangers. Houston’s braintrust wanted the 21-year-old to take a breather and come back ready to assist in the club’s final push for its first ever American League West title. That push is now on.
McCullers — owner of a cool 3.17 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 79 strikeouts over his first 76 2/3 major league frames — has been recalled from the Double-A level and will start against Clayton Kershaw in Sunday’s series finale against the visiting Dodgers.
Houston got to Zack Greinke on Saturday for a 3-1 victory and Mike Fiers threw a no-hitter on Friday. This is coming together as a statement series for the ‘Stros here in late August.
As of Sunday morning, they hold a four-game lead in the AL West.
In the NL West, the Dodgers’ lead over the Giants is just 1 1/2.