Of the 15 runs scored in the third game of a four game set between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros, only two of them scored via a base hit that didn’t leave the yard. The Yankees and Astros hit three home runs each as they battled to a 9-6 final in favor of New York.
In the early going, it looked like the Yankees might run away with the game as the team scored six runs in the first two innings. In the first, Brett Gardner led-off with a 2-0 double into the left-center field gap while Houston Native Chris Young and Alex Rodriguez each earned full count walks. After a Mark Teixiera pop out, Brian McCann got the scoring started with a bang. McCann’s 11th career grand slam went into the upper deck in right field. In the second, Young hit his second home run in as many nights with Gardner again aboard to extend the lead to 6-0. One hitter later, Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer was ejected from the game after nearly hitting Rodriguez. Houston Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch spoke regarding Oberholtzer’s ejection after the game, “I’m really disappointed that happened at the beginning of the game. That’s not how we operate around here. Intentional or unintentional, those kinds of things can’t happen in these types of settings at this level.”
The Astros started chipping away in the bottom half of the second. Domingo Santana and Chris Carter hit back-to-back doubles for the first Houston run. One out later, George Springer followed with an RBI single, to cut the lead to 6-2. In the third, Carter came up with another big hit. This time, his 13th home run of the season to cut the Yankee lead to 6-3. One inning later, with Springer on first, Carlos Correa hit his fifth homer of the season, and Jose Altuve hit his sixth of the year to tie the game at 6. “The fifth inning was one of the best of the year for us both on defense and on offense. The character and resiliency of our team is there, and will be there,” said Hinch of the homers in the fifth.
Teixiera came up with the big hit in the eighth with a two-run double off of Houston reliever Pat Neshek to once again give the Yankees the lead. The New York bullpen would take care of Houston after that to preserve a 9-6 final score.
Leading the charge for the Yankees at the plate was Brett Gardner who reached base in all four at-bats with two doubles, a single, and two runs scored for the visitors. For Houston, Carlos Correa was a triple away from the cycle in just his 19th major league game. Roberto Hernandez came out of the bullpen for the Astros as he pitched 3.2 innings of relief giving up one hit and three walks while not surrendering a run.
After the game, A.J. Hinch announced that Brett Oberholtzer will be optioned to Triple-A Fresno and a corresponding move will be made. “We got put into kind of a tough spot with our bullpen, a lot of guys have been used. We’re gonna need an arm up here tomorrow.”
The final game of this four game set will begin at 1:10 on Sunday afternoon with Collin McHugh taking the mound for the Astros and Michael Pineda will oppose him for the Yankees. The Yankees stay a half game back of the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays while the rest of the AL West looks to pick up a game on the division leading Astros.