BoSox Avoid Sweep With 6-5 Walk-Off

Gurriel, Correa celebrate in sixth
(c) Getty Images
The Astros trailed 5-1 to the Red Sox Sunday night and could have packed it in for the quick turnaround trip to Detoit. Instead, they scored four times in the sixth to tie up the game. It was old nemesis Mitch Moreland who got the walk-off winner with a single against Hector Rondon in the ninth that sent many of the Fenway faithful who stayed up after 11 o'clock home happy. Meanwhile, the loss dropped Houston back within 2-1/2 games of Oakland in the A.L. West but they'd cleared the biggest hurdle left in their schedule.

The billed pitching duel of former Cy Young winners failed to materialize as Dallas Keuchel allowed five runs over six innings and Rick Porcello gave up four in 5-2/3rd innings.

Former Astro J.D. Martinez drove in four with a sacrifice fly in the third and a three-run homer in the fifth as Boston built their lead. Jose Altuve began the comeback with his 11th homer of the year, followed by a two-run double from Tyler White and an RBI double from Josh Reddick. Earlier, Marwin Gonzalez returned to the lineup and bashed a solo homer off Porcello, his 15th of the year.

Both teams threatened to score later on without success before Rondon allowed a pair of singles in the bottom of the ninth then Moreland, who used to torture Houston as a Ranger, smashed a single to left which plated pinch-runner Tzu-Wei Lin to end the 3-1/2 hour contest.

Still, the Astros won 2-of-3 in Boston and didn't even send out their best pitcher. It looks like Oakland isn't going to go away and the Astros are going to have to #EarnIt (oops! That was last year's motto).

The Astros now open a three-game series in Detroit with Justin Verlander (14-9) pitching the opener against Francisco Liriano (4-9) at CoAmerica Park with a curious 5:10 pm Central start time. You'd think the nostalgia tour would unleash the A-game from Verlander but that's not how it turned out when the two teams met in Houston in mid-July. In that game, Verlander was blasted for four homers and lost, 6-3. Liriano started that game, too, but stayed around for just three innings.

Oakland has Monday off before beginning a series in (sigh) Baltimore.

- Bob Hulsey