Bregman finds Mom in stands after slam
(c) Associated Press
After a bullpen meltdown cost the Astros Game 1 of Sunday's Mother's Day double-header the bats came alive early and often to build an insurmountable lead in Game 2. George Springer and company powered up for four long-balls in the first two innings to put a damper on Derek Jeter Day and escape New York with three wins in four games.
Game 1 was going pretty much as expected – right up until the seventh inning stretch, that is.
Houston built a 3-1 lead early thanks to a barrage of singles in the third inning that chased Yankees starter Luis Severino from the contest prematurely. Chad Green came on in relief and coaxed a double-play grounder off the bat of Alex Bregman to end what could have been an even bigger inning. Bregman's second hard-hit grounder of the game to be converted into a twin killing seemed to establish a trend of missed opportunities for the Astros.
Mike “gopher-ball” Fiers did his thing in the fourth, serving up back-to-back homers to Starlin Castro and Aaron Judge to make it 4-3 Yankees. Judge's home run went over monument park and the jury is still out on where it would have landed had there not been a wall there to knock it down.
The Astros made their customary late-inning comeback in the seventh, taking advantage of an error to plate three runs off Adam Warren and regain the lead. But, after the stretch, things went sideways for the visitors.
The usually reliable Will Harris came on in relief and gave up three straight one-out hits. Harris gave way to Chris Devenski with the score now 6-5. Castro doubled home the tying run and Judge was intentionally walked to load the bases. Devenski struck out Didi Gregorious for out number two but gave up a line drive triple to Chase Headley that made it 9-6 Yankees. After our old friend Chris Carter spanked a double to left field to score Headley, A.J. Hinch brought in the white flag of surrender known as Tony Sipp.
Brett Gardner added a solo homer in the eighth and Jonathan Holder retired the Astros in order in the ninth to preserve the 11-6 win for the Yanks.
After a ceremony to retire Jeter's number 2 between games, George Springer greeted Masahiro Tanaka with a blast over the wall in straight-away centerfield. Josh Reddick followed with shot off the second deck in right and it was 2-0 Houston before Jeter could make it all the way up to his luxury suite. Alex Bregman delivered a grand slam to left before the inning was over and Charlie Morton took the mound with a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Morton, a winner in each of his last three starts, had his strikeout pitch working, fanning seven in a row over the first three innings and ten in the game. The Astros right-hander was in complete control with the exception of a four-run fifth inning that included a three-run opposite-field homer by Matt Holliday.
Springer added another homer in the second inning and the Astros also got RBIs from the two Carloses, Beltran and Correa, to add to their lead.
The Yankees mounted a comeback attempt in the ninth against 26th man Dayan Diaz but it proved to be too little, too late. Ken Giles came in to get the final out and preserve Morton's fifth win of the season. On a sour note, Jose Altuve left the game in the ninth inning with what appeared to be a possible leg injury.
The Astros now travel to Miami for a three-game series against the Marlins commencing Monday at 6:10 Central. Joe Musgrove gets the start and a chance to do some damage with the bat in the National League park against former Astro Dan Straily.
- Greg Thurston