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HOUSTON — There were moments during the recently completed road trip when Evan Gattis‘ teammates appeared to relish his run-production exploits more than he did [url=http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-matt-prater-jersey]Matt Prater Jersey[/url] , scenes emblematic of the prevailing fondness for the Houston Astros‘ bearded designated hitter.
Gattis is among the many catalysts for the Astros, who take a 12-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Astros tied the club record set in 1999 and matched in 2004 when Alex Bregman delivered the game-winning single in the ninth inning in a 5-4 victory.
Before Bregman’s hit, Gattis was named American League Player of the Week, earning the honor for the first time in his six-season career.
Gattis hit .417 (10-for-24) with four homers and 15 RBIs for the week, the latter total representing seven more than any other player in the league.
Gattis has been a house aflame this month, leading the majors with 23 RBIs. That total leaves him six shy of the club record of 29 set by Jimmy Wynn in 1967 and matched by Jose Cruz in 1984.
On May 19, Gattis was mired in an extended season-opening slump and was batting .209. He recorded three multi-hit games over his next five starts and has wielded a hot bat ever since.
“I’m thrilled for Gatty because to know him is to know how much he carries the burden of being the DH most nights,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “And he’s very emotional about it. He wants to contribute; he wants to do well. Had a rough start to the season and going through a few swing changes and a lot of work behinds the scenes and then he busts out and literally carries us for the better part of the road trip.
“For him to be rewarded with that recognition nationally is awesome. For the reaction inside with his teammates and coaches, everybody feels pretty good about him.”
Right-hander Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.61 ERA) will start for the Astros (49-25) on Tuesday. He leads the AL in ERA, WHIP (0.76), opponent batting average (.160) and OPS (.493) while ranking second in innings (100 1/3) and fourth in strikeouts (120).
He is 8-3 with a 3.29 ERA over 16 career starts against the Rays, failing to record a decision when he allowed two runs on six hits and five walks with six strikeouts over seven innings in a 5-3 win on June 15, 2017, with Detroit.
Left-hander Blake Snell (8-4 [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-scott-darling-jersey]Scott Darling Jersey[/url] , 2.58 ERA) gets the nod for the Rays (33-39). He is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA over three career starts against Houston, failing to log more than five innings in any of those outings. Snell has made two starts at Minute Maid Park, going 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA.
Snell has yielded two or fewer runs in 12 of 15 starts this season, tied with Verlander and Yankees right-hander Luis Severino for the most such starts in the AL. That total includes eight starts surrendering one run or fewer, the second-best mark in the AL behind Verlander (nine).
The Rays’ pitcher usage remains a topic of conversation throughout the majors, with the collapse by Romo only fueling those with dissenting opinions on the strategy of employing multiple bullpen days per week. Six pitchers preceded Romo on Monday, with right-hander Matt Andriese producing the longest outing of 2 2/3 innings in Tampa Bay’s 10th loss in its last 11 road games.
“This is a tough one, no doubt,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We sold out to win a ballgame. We got aggressive with the moves; they got aggressive on their side with the pinch hitting. It all basically worked in our favor until the last inning. Leadoff walk, a couple tough pitches, a couple odd things took place and then Bregman comes up and gets a big hit.”
The biggest hit of Noel Cuevas‘ young major league career was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt.
The Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners were tied at 1 in the seventh inning Saturday, and the Rockies had two men on and one out when Cuevas came to the plate as the No. 9 hitter. He got the sign for a safety squeeze, but fouled off his first bunt attempt.
Instead, Cuevas hit the next pitch over the left-field fence for a three-run homer, giving the Rockies the lead in what would be a 5-1 win.
”I wasn’t happy at that moment that I missed it. We were trying to get that run in [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-sebastian-aho-jersey]Youth Sebastian Aho Jersey[/url] ,” Cuevas said. ”Next pitch, I can’t remember I just missed a bunt. I need to make sure I’m ready for that pitch and that was it.”
It was the second career home run for Cuevas, who was called up to the Rockies on April 22, and his first since May 14. The three RBI set a career high, and he tied his best mark with three hits in the game. He also had another sacrifice attempt turn into an infield hit to load the bases in the third inning.
Cuevas wasn’t the only one at the bottom of Colorado’s order to have a big day. The Rockies’ No. 6-9 hitters combined to go 9 for 14 with five RBIs.
”All those guys, every one of their at-bats from pitch one, they were ready to hit,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. ”That’s what I saw, all of them.”
The Rockies won their fifth straight despite facing Seattle’s best starter, James Paxton (8-3). Although Paxton was again overpowering at times, striking out nine, he lost for the second time in three starts. He allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings – marking the third time in four starts Paxton allowed at least that many runs and hits.
”I felt really good today. I had good stuff, I felt like I threw the ball well,” he said. ”It was really good other than that one pitch.”
The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Gonzalez. Segura’s seventh homer tied the score in the fifth.
Reliever Scott Oberg (2-0) earned the win by throwing a perfect sixth inning, striking out two.
Colorado starter Kyle Freeland left after five innings [url=http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authentic-adidas-teuvo-teravainen-jersey]Authentic Teuvo Teravainen Jersey[/url] , allowing one run and five hits. It was Freeland’s shortest outing since going four innings on April 18 – he had pitched into the sixth inning or later in his previous 13 starts.
Rockies: Colorado recalled INF/OF Jordan Patterson and LHP Jerry Vasto from Triple-A Albuquerque, and C Tom Murphy – who returned to Denver on Friday to be with his wife, Lindsay, for the birth of their second child – was placed on the paternity list.
Mariners: Seattle recalled OF John Andreoli from Triple-A Tacoma and optioned RHP Nick Rumbelow to Tacoma. Andreoli started in left field Saturday and struck out twice before being replaced by Ben Gamel in the sixth.
Rockies: LHP Mike Dunn was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to July 4 with AC joint inflammation. Colorado manager Bud Black said it was unclear how long Dunn might be out. … SS Trevor Story was scratched from the starting lineup with a bruised right foot.
Mariners: Mitch Haniger was back in the starting lineup at right field after missing two games with a bruised right knee. … 2B Dee Gordon was out of the starting lineup after hurting his hip on a play at the plate on Friday, but manager Scott Servais said it was just a day off and the injury wasn’t serious. Gordon entered the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth and popped out to left field.
Before the game, Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano talked with the media about his 80-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug agreement, saying it was the most difficult thing he’s dealt with in his life outside of the death of his grandfather. Cano is eligible to return on August 14, but is ineligible for postseason play and Gordon has excelled defensively at second base in Cano’s absence.
”I’m focused on bringing a title to Seattle so I would do whatever it takes to help this team to win,” Cano said. ”At the same time I understand I’m not going to be able to play in the playoffs so you got to give a chance to Dee to go out and play because when we get to the playoffs he’s going to have to come back and play second base.”
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-1, 4.44 ERA) is making his second start after starting the year in the Colorado bullpen. In his first start on Tuesday against the Giants, Senzatela pitched seven scoreless innings.
Mariners: LHP Wade LeBlanc (4-0, 3.19) will make his 13th start of the season. He allowed one run on three hits in seven innings his last time out against the Angels.
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