Rasmus adds to torrid start with dramatic homer

Rasmus adds to torrid start with dramatic homer

HOUSTON -- Colby Rasmus nearly rescued the Astros once again.

Rasmus, who broke open Saturday's game with a grand slam, hit a dramatic two-out, two-run home run in the ninth inning on Sunday night against Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, sending Minute Maid Park into a frenzy and setting the stage for a long night.

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The Red Sox pushed across two runs in the 12th inning for a 7-5 win, but Rasmus' heroics continued his terrific start at the plate this season.

"That sent a lot of energy through our dugout and a lot of excitement in our dugout," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It gave us new life in a game that we started out from behind again and put ourselves in a little bit of a hole. We stabilized it."

Rasmus was 0-for-3 before he turned on a Kimbrel pitch and sent it 425 feet into the Astros' bullpen to tie the game. It was his first career hit off Kimbrel and he became the first Astros player to hit a game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth since Brandon Barnes on Sept. 3, 2013, against Minnesota.

"Really, I was trying to hit an oppo home run," Rasmus said. "That was what my mindset was, trying to look for that fastball out over and lift it to left, and thankfully I was able to get a hold of that one."

Rasmus is tied with the Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson for the American League lead in home runs with seven and has reached base safely in 17 of 19 games this year. He has four homers and 10 RBIs in his last 10 games, and over his last 37 games with the Astros, including the 2015 postseason, he's hitting .309 with 17 homers, 35 RBIs and a 1.251 OPS.

"Well, some at-bats better than others," Rasmus said. "Yeah, it feels good, man, but it's tough. I don't like to think of myself too much. I'm trying to do it for the boys and for the team and just trying to put some wins in the column. But, you know, I'm thankful and blessed to be doing it and just hope our team can turn and it can be for some W's."

Rasmus said battling for five hours, though, and coming up short, leaves him dissatisfied.

"But that's baseball," he said. "We tried. Everybody gave it their all tonight and we're pretty worn out, but we've got to get Seattle tomorrow."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.