Dallas Keuchel (5-8, 4.77) vs A.J. Griffin (12-9, 3.84)
Lightning would not strike twice in one week for the Astros. Brandon Barnes of course spun a bit of 9th inning magic against Minnesota's closer on Tuesday, turning a 3-run deficit into a tie game. Tonight Houston again faced a 3-run hole against another team's closer in the 9th, and they came as close as you'd like to tying it up again, but it was not to be. Astros fall 7-5 to the A's, dropping back to 47-94 overall.
On the Mound:
*Not much good to say about Dallas Keuchel's start tonight. He turned in his shortest outing of the season, failing to escape the 4th with a 3.1 IP / 10 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 2 BB / 3 K line.
*Philip Humber actually outpitched Kid Keuchy tonight, though he was still burned by a 2-run HR, finishing with a 3.2 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 2 BB / 3 K line.
*Chia-Jen Lo fanned Yoenis Cespedes in a perfect 8th.
At the Plate:
*Jonathan Villar hit leadoff and led the offense, going 3 for 5 with 2 R, a 2B, a SB, a RBI, and 2 K.
*Jose Altuve and Trevor Crowe each went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI apiece. Crowe had a double, and Altuve had one K.
*Chris Carter also doubled, going 1 for 4 with a K.
*Brett Wallace was 2 for 3 with a run scored and a walk.
*Matt Dominguez returned from a sinus infection to go 1 for 5 with 2 RBI and 4 K.
*Jason Castro also returned from knee trouble, but with less success, going 0 for 5 with 2 K.
*Brandon Barnes was 0 for 2 with 2 K and a HBP, but notably got ejected in the 6th after he was hit again. The umpire ruled that Brandon did not attempt to get out of the way, so he was refused first base.
Down 7-4 going into the 9th with Grant Balfour coming on, it didn't seem like Houston had much hope of mounting a rally, and Marc Krauss grounded to first for out #1. But Villar and Altuve followed with back-to-back singles, then an error by Eric Sogard let Trevor Crowe reach and let Villar score, cutting it to 7-5. With the tying runs on first and second, Houston's three most powerful bats followed next - Castro, Dominguez, and Carter - but Castro grounded into a fielder's choice that retired Crowe at second while putting runners on the corners with two outs. A wild pitch with Dominguez batting moved pinch-runner Jake Elmore up to second, but Matty D couldn't capitalize on a 3-0 count and ultimately struck out to end the game.
Man of the Match:
Jonathan Villar. Did a little bit of everything tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Dallas Keuchel. Not your night, Kid.