Springer’s walk-off homer in 11th gives Astros win over D-Backs
HOUSTON — George Springer has been on quite a roll since moving into the leadoff spot.
Springer homered with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Houston a 5-4 win over Arizona on Wednesday night for the Astros' fifth straight victory, and third in a row against the Diamondbacks.
Springer hit the first pitch he saw from Tyler Clippard (2-2) off the facade in left-center for his 13th home run of the season and first career walkoff shot.
"It was awesome," Springer said. "I knew that I had hit it well and obviously for our squad right there it's a big hit. I was happy to help us win."
Springer is batting .450 (18 of 40) with five home runs and 10 RBI in the nine games since being moved to the first spot in the Astros' lineup.
"He's locked in," manager A.J. Hinch said. "Him being able to do damage and at the same time draw a walk, hit a double, throw a runner out, he runs the bases well. He's an extraordinary player."
Michael Feliz (4-1) pitched two innings for the win.
"It's an emotional win after a punch in the gut with them able to post three runs in the ninth," Hinch said. "Again, I think our guys continued to battle, continued to compete."
Michael Bourn hit an RBI double to cut Houston's lead to 4-2 in the ninth before Jake Lamb hit a two-run homer off Luke Gregerson to tie it.
"It was more a team effort," Lamb said. "We battled back and then we just didn't come through with the win. We're getting close. We're playing fairly solid defense. We're playing good baseball. That's a frustrating one, that's a tough one to lose."
Carlos Correa had a two-out RBI single and Evan Gattis followed with a homer off the facade in left to give the Astros a 3-1 lead in the fifth.
Tony Kemp added a sacrifice fly in the eighth for Houston, which won for the eighth time in nine games and gave Hinch his 200th career victory -- 89 with the Diamondbacks and 111 with the Astros.
"I think we're playing good baseball," Springer said. "I think that we've shown not only to the other team but to ourselves that we've been down in every game so far and we've come back and scored some runs. That's obviously big for us and we've got to continue to keep playing good overall baseball."
Mike Fiers allowed one run and four hits with a season-high seven strikeouts in six innings.
Brandon Drury scored on a wild pitch in the third to give Arizona a 1-0 lead.
Robbie Ray allowed three runs and six hits with six strikeouts in five innings. The left-hander has not made it through the fifth in his last three starts and six of his last eight.
Diamondbacks: LF David Peralta went 1 for 5 and stole a base in an extended spring training game Wednesday. Manager Chip Hale said Peralta felt good Wednesday, but he will play another extended spring training game Thursday in order to get another five or six at bats, probably take Friday off and then go to Triple-A Reno for Saturday and Sunday. "We'd like him to get some at bats and be ready for Monday," Hale said.
Prior to the game, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt received the 2015 Baseball Writers Association of America's Houston area player of the year award. Goldschmidt, who graduated from The Woodlands High School about 35 miles north of Houston, also won the award in 2013.
SHOWING THE GLOVE
Bourn robbed Marwin Gonzalez of extra bases in the second, making a running grab at the wall in deep center field. An inning later, Carlos Gomez robbed Bourn of extra bases making a running, leaping grab in left-center. Jake Marisnick followed Gomez's grab with a diving catch on Goldschmidt's sinking line drive to end the third.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (6-3) will look to continue his recent string of good starts when he takes the mound in the finale of the two games in Houston on Thursday. Greinke has won three straight starts and is 6-1 over his last nine outings.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-6) will try to win his second straight after he won his last start Saturday giving up two runs over seven innings.