Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
The biggest gut punch in the Houston Astros’ up-and-down season came Tuesday night, when they gave up two runs with two outs in the ninth inning to blow a game against one of the teams they’re chasing in the standings — the same team that’s been owning them all season.
If Astros fans weren’t already cursing the names of the Texas Rangers, they are now. The Rangers eeked out a 3-2 win, started with a wild pitch by Astros closer Ken Giles, propelled by a triple from Elvis Andrus and capped with a go-ahead single by Jurickson Profar.
The loss drops the Astros’ record against the Rangers this season to an icky 3-15. Take away those Rangers losses — even some of them — and the Astros would be much different than their current 75-70 record.
Astros record vs. Rangers: 3-15
Astros record vs. every other opponent: 72-55
— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) September 14, 2016
The Astros have to live with that ownage and know, if they don’t make it out of September, it was specifically because they couldn’t beat the first-place Rangers on numerous occasions.
Said Astros manager A.J. Hinch after the game, via MLB.com:
“I’ve seen and been in some tough ones, and this one is pretty hard. We had every chance to win the game and obviously strange things happen when we play these guys. … These guys play complete games across the way and we haven’t been able to solve them. This one sucks.”
Taijuan Walker: Your pitching performance of the night goes to Taijuan Walker, who took a no-hitter into the seventh for the Seattle Mariners. He didn’t get it, but finished the night with a three-hit shutout in which he K’d 11 Angels hitters. It was quite the impressive performance for Walker, as the M’s won 8-0.
T.J. Rivera: It’s OK if you don’t know T.J. Rivera, but after Tuesday’s game, the Washington Nationals sure know his name. Rivera, a New York Mets rookie infielder, had three hits and three RBIs in New York’s 4-3 win, including the go-ahead 10th inning home run. It was his first time starting for the Mets since Aug. 23 and Rivera made it count.
Brandon Moss: On a night in which the Chicago Cubs could have lowered their magic number to just one by the beating the St. Louis Cardinals, Brandon Moss wasn’t going to let that happen. The Cardinals outfielder hit a two-run, go-ahead homer in the sixth inning that eventually gave the Cardinals a 4-2 win. Moss had two hits and two runs scored on the night.
The Yankees and Dodgers were tied 0-0 going into the seventh inning when Joe Girardi made two moves that immediately changed the course of the game. Jacoby Ellsbury came off the bench to hit a solo homer and Didi Gregorious followed right after with a pinch-hit homer of his own. The Yankees added another homer in the eighth to secure the 3-0 win.
THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD
Orioles 6, Red Sox 3: Three more homers for the slugging Orioles, who move to within two games of the Red Sox for first place.
Padres 5, Giants 4: The disastrous Giants bullpen blows another one. This time, giving up four runs in the ninth to erase a 4-1 lead.
Pirates 5, Phillies 3: Sean Rodriguez’s three-run ninth inning homer gives the Pirates the win.
Rays 6, Blue Jays 2: Here’s your interesting stat line of the night: Steven Souza Jr. was 1-for-1 for the Rays, but he scored three runs. He homered and walked three times.
Twins 8, Tigers 1: Brian Dozier gets three more hits for the Twins. He’s hitting .318 with 26 homers since the All-Star break.
Marlins 7, Braves 5: Ichiiiiiiro! He goes 2-for-4, scores two runs and knocks in another.
Reds 6, Brewers 4: Dan Straily wins his 12th game for the Reds, pitching eight solid innings and striking out eight.
A’s 5, Royals 4: Oakland scores four in the eighth for the comeback victory, spoiling another nice starter by Royals pitcher Danny Duffy.
White Sox 8, Indians 1: Jose Quintana looks smooth for the White Sox, pitching eight innings of one-run ball and striking out six.
D-backs 11, Rockies 4: Arizona uses two big innings — a four-run first and a five-run fifth — to rout the Rockies.
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