Correa, Gattis provide late fireworks
(c) Karen Warren/Hou. Chronicle
In what has to be considered one of the most exhilarating games of the season, the Astros got back-to-back homers from Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis to beat the Tampa Bay rays in walk-off style Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
Houston scored three runs in the first two innings while Mike Fiers made quick work of the Rays lineup in what looked to be an easy win in the early going. But the game took on a different feel as Tampa Bay starter Drew Smyly settled down to retire 14 in a row and Fiers battled command issues.
The Rays plated two runs on wild pitches and eventually tied the game in the seventh when Corey Dickerson hit an RBI double off Michael Feliz. Mikie Mahtook gave the Rays the lead with a 2-out homer off Ken Giles in the ninth and things started to look bleak for the home team.
Alex Colome came out of the Rays bullpen tasked with protecting a 1-run lead in the ninth and was rudely greeted by Carlos Correa. The Astros' shortstop hammered Colome's first pitch over the rightfield wall to tie the game, setting the stage for Evan Gattis to seal the deal. Gattis worked the count full before launching a neck-high fastball deep into the Houston night for the walk-off win.
Jake Marisnick homered and Gattis drove in a pair runs helping the Astros move to within three games of a playoff spot with 34 games to go. With Luke Gregerson unavailable due to a nagging ankle injury, Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth inning to keep the Astros in the game.
Dallas Keuchel takes the mound Saturday night at 6:10 CDT as the Astros seek to notch their third straight series win and creep back into the playoff conversation. Left-hander Blake Snell gets the start for Kevin Cash's Rays.