Astros fall to Blue Jays in 10; Hamels, Rangers top Twins
Texas lefty throws complete game to beat Minnesota 4-1.
Ryan Goins hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 10th inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied for a 4-3 win over the host Houston Astros Saturday night.
Goins hit the two-out single to left field off Francisco Liriano (6-7), and Rob Refsnyder touched home plate with his left hand just before Brian McCann tagged him. The Astros challenged the call, which stood after a nearly two-minute review.
Ryan Tepera (6-1) threw two innings for the win, and Roberto Osuna got the last three outs for his 28th save.
Kevin Pillar tied it at 3-3 in the seventh, beating the throw home on Jose Bautista’s fielder’s choice to first.
Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer in the first to give Houston a 2-1 lead, and Tyler White hit a solo home run off the train tracks in left field to lead off the third and put the Astros ahead 3-2. White’s home run was his third homer in two games.
Josh Donaldson hit an RBI double to deep center in the first, and Bautista tied the game at 2-2, with a run-scoring grounder in the second.
Marco Estrada gave up three runs and five hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings. The right-hander had his third straight good start but has not won since May 27.
Charlie Morton allowed three runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
Rangers 4, Twins 1: Even when Jorge Polanco led off the ninth with a double to finally get some energy going with the Minnesota crowd, Texas manager Jeff Banister had already made his decision.
It was going to be Cole Hamels’ night.
Like they had for the rest of the game, Minnesota’s next three batters went quietly in order, the Rangers won and Hamels (6-1) ended the night needing just 96 pitches to finish the 16th complete game of his career.
“It was his game,” Banister said. “We’ve seen Cole in those type of situations. The look of him tonight, the stuff that he had, how strong he was, felt like he was as strong in the eighth and the ninth as at any point in the game.”
It was Hamels’ first complete game since Oct. 4, 2015, when the Rangers clinched the AL West title against Los Angeles. His previous low pitch count in a complete game was 97 in 2009.
The 33-year-old Hamels credited his changeup with being able to quickly induce the Twins batters into harmless groundouts and pop-ups all night.
“It’s a lot better pitch,” he said. “It definitely wakes up a scouting report for the other side, but it makes me feel a lot more like I did in 20112012, and 13-14. That’s kind of where I felt like I was at my strongest.”
With Hamels dominating, Nomar Mazara’s first-inning, two-run homer off Kyle Gibson (6-9) was all the offense Texas needed. Hamels scattered four hits and allowed only four batters to reach base. He entered the game with a 6.35 career ERA against Minnesota, the highest of any opponent with at least six starts, but breezed through the lineup to pick up his third career win against the Twins.
Toronto’s Rob Refsnyder scores the go-ahead run in the 10th inning late Saturday as he avoids the tag of Houston catcher Brian McCann.