Astros defeat Diamondbacks 7-6
Siri, McCormick rally AL West-leading Astros past D-backs
HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Siri and Chas McCormick hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning, rallying the AL West-leading Houston Astros over the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 on Sunday.
Carlos Correa also homered as the Astros held their comfortable division lead over Oakland. Houston won for the fourth time in five games and cut Tampa Bay’s lead for the best record in the AL to 3 ½ games.
Trailing 6-4 with one out in the eighth, Siri tied it with a two-run homer off Brandyn Sittinger (0-1). McCormick followed with his 13th home run.
“I didn’t really feel that great swing-wise today,” McCormick said. “That’s why you get four or five at-bats in a game. It just felt good to take the lead and end up winning that game. Siri came up with a huge two-run home run to get us going. You have to give credit to Siri for bringing back momentum for us.”
The rally in the eighth made up for a missed opportunity in the seventh when Luis Frias walked the bases loaded with two outs, but Noe Ramirez induced a flyout from Alex Bregman to end the inning.
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said needing to use Ramirez in the seventh changed the way the team approached the eighth.
“I think trying to get Frias through that seventh inning was pretty crucial,” Lovullo said. “We thought one-plus for Noe, but we’ve been on him pretty good as well. Noe would have had the eighth, and then we would have migrated into the bullpen maybe a little bit differently in the ninth.
“It just goes to show you that each at bat is extremely important. One batter can cause things to trickle down. Maybe an at-bat in the seventh will help win the game in the eighth.”
Correa tied his career high with his 24th homer, a three-run shot in the first. He also hit 24 home runs in 2017.
Kyle Tucker hit an RBI double in the Astros fourth. He exited in the sixth with right shoulder discomfort and was replaced by Siri in right field.
Houston manager Dusty Baker said the team thought Tucker would be all right, but he was being looked at.
“We already have some guys down, but the young guys are picking us up and doing their thing and contributing big time,” Baker said. “That was one of the best wins we have had in a long time. If you are going to be a championship team, you have to like the art of coming back. You have to find a way, and today we found a way.”
Peter Solomon (1-0) allowed one run in four innings of relief for his first career win. Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his 25th save.
Astros starter Zack Greinke was tagged for five runs on five hits with three strikeouts in four innings. He has allowed 21 runs over 19 innings in his last four outings.
“The last game I was throwing normal, but got tired early,” Greinke said. “Today I was trying to save some energy, but that didn’t work either. I still got tired, too. … Overall, I wasn’t that great, but I will try to figure out something in between starts.”
Arizona scored four runs in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead. Carson Kelly and Daulton Varsho hit consecutive RBI singles before Christian Walker had a two-run single.
Pavin Smith homered for Arizona, which has lost five of six.
Arizona starter Zac Gallen yielded four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.
Lovullo said Gallen made a quality adjustment after the first inning.
“He pitched through six innings,” Lovullo said. “Sometimes that can be a little challenge to go back out there and pitch, but he figured it out and did a really nice job attacking the zone.”
The Diamondbacks selected the contract of INF/OF Ildemaro Vargas from Triple-A Reno. Arizona designated RHP Jake Faria for assignment.
Astros: OF Michael Brantley (right knee discomfort) participated in baseball activities, including throwing and hitting on Sunday, Baker said.
Diamondbacks: RHP Humberto Mejia (0-1, 4.91) will be called up from Triple-A Reno to make the start on Monday when the Diamondbacks start a four-game series against the Braves, Lovullo said.
Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (10-5, 3.26) is scheduled to start the opener of a four-game series at the Angels on Monday, Baker said. Valdez was scratched from his last scheduled start on Thursday with a cut on his left index finger.
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