Valbuena's homer in 9th lifts Astros over A's 10-9
HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Astros didn't hang their heads after a five-run ninth inning allowed the Oakland Athletics to take a two-run lead Friday night.
They were confident they could rally with the heart of their order due up in the bottom of the inning.
Luis Valbuena drove in four runs, highlighted by a three-run homer with one out in the ninth, to lift the Astros to a wild 10-9 victory over the Athletics.
Oakland took the lead with the big ninth before Jose Altuve singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Correa struck out, but reached on a wild pitch before Valbuena connected off Ryan Madson (3-3) for his third homer in four games to give Houston the win.
''That inning, the way you draw it up is we're in the good part of our order that we feel really comfortable with,'' manager A.J. Hinch said.
Valbuena knew it was gone the moment he made contact.
''I was looking for a good pitch,'' he said. ''Trying to get the pitch I wanted and I (didn't) miss the pitch. You see what happened?''
Oakland manager Bob Melvin felt confident with Madson on the mound in the ninth before things went awry.
''I feel good whenever he takes the mound and we have the lead whether it's one or two runs,'' Melvin said. ''I didn't have negative thoughts going into that inning. I fully believed we were going to win the game.''
Houston led by three runs entering the ninth before Yonder Alonso connected off closer Will Harris with no outs to cut the lead to 7-6. Pinch-hitter Jake Smolinski singled with one out before a double by Jed Lowrie chased Harris.
He was replaced by Michael Feliz (6-1) who was greeted by the double from Davis that put the A's up 8-7.
Josh Reddick added a run with an RBI single to make it 9-7.
Stephen Vogt had an RBI triple and Marcus Semien hit a solo homer to help Oakland take a 3-0 lead in the fourth.
Correa hit a two-run homer in the fourth before the Astros went on top with a four-run fifth.
Houston trailed by one run with no outs and the bases loaded in the fifth when Marwin Gonzalez singled off starter Daniel Mengden to tie it. The Astros took the lead on an RBI groundout by Altuve. Correa followed with a run-scoring single to push the lead to 5-3 and chase Mengden, who had remained in the game despite being struck in the chest by a comebacker an inning before.
Correa got in a rundown trying to stretch his hit into a double and Altuve broke for home on the play. Semien threw home in time to tag out Altuve and allow Correa to reach second.
Marc Rzepczynski took over and allowed an RBI single from Valbuena to make it 6-3.
Houston starter Collin McHugh allowed eight hits and four runs in six innings and remains winless since May 30.
Mengden, a rookie who is from Houston and attended nearby Texas A&M, yielded six hits and a season-high six runs in a season-low 4 2/3 innings.
Altuve singled with no outs in the fourth for Houston's first hit before Correa's 14th homer cut the lead to 3-2. It was the 35th home run of his career to tie him with Adam Everett for most home runs by a shortstop in franchise history.
Mengden was shaken up later in that inning when a hit by Carlos Gomez bounced off his glove and hit him in the chest before dropping to the ground. He picked the ball up and got it to first for the out before being tended to by a trainer. It took him a minute to catch his breath before he threw a couple of warmup pitches and remained in the game.
''I think it is one of those things that scared me more than it hurt,'' Mengden said. ''Those are always nerve-wracking.''
Astros: OF Colby Rasmus was out of the lineup with an ear infection. Hinch said he hopes Rasmus will feel better and be back in the lineup on Saturday.
Oakland OF Coco Crisp served a one-game suspension on Friday night for intentionally throwing his bat toward home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn the night before. The bat hit Reyburn's foot after Crisp struck out to end the fifth inning of Oakland's 3-1 victory at Houston. Crisp apologized after the game and said he didn't mean for the bat to end up so close to Reyburn.
Athletics: Kendall Graveman (4-6, 4.57) will start for Oakland on Saturday. Graveman has bounced back from a tough start to the season to go 3-0 with a 3.63 ERA in his last seven starts, and his three-game winning streak ties a career high.
Astros: Lance McCullers (4-2, 3.57) is scheduled to start for Houston on Saturday. McCullers allowed five hits and one run with 10 strikeouts in seven innings of a 2-1 win over the Mariners in his last start.