Rasmus shines with muscle, hustle

Astros left fielder doubles twice, cuts down Lowrie in 11th

Rasmus shines with muscle, hustle

HOUSTON -- Colby Rasmus was instrumental in the Astros' early-innings scoring Saturday, and in the 11th, the left fielder made the defensive play of the game in a 6-5, 12-inning win over the A's.

It was a good all-around effort from Rasmus. He doubled in his first two at-bats, the second coming in the third inning, when the Astros built a 4-3 lead after falling behind 3-0.

"Thankfully, I got a couple of pitches up I could drive," said Rasmus, who delivered big on his bobblehead day at Minute Maid Park.

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Rasmus' RBI double

"I felt good out there," Rasmus said. "I feel like I have a good mindset of what I'm trying to do.

"I went through that little scuffle there where I was having trouble locking into the pitches that I wanted to hit and missing my pitches. I'm just trying to stay with that approach that I got working right now."

Saturday was Rasmus' first game with multiple extra-base hits since May 7 vs. Seattle. It also snapped a run of 11 games without an extra-base hit, his longest skid of the season.

"He's getting the ball airborne a little bit more but not underneath too far to where it's a popup," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's one of our more important hitters because he splits up these big right-handed hitters that are in our top five [in the batting order]."

Both of Rasmus' doubles on Saturday were to the opposite field in left.

"I just tried to get myself relaxed and get my hands back working through the zone and getting that lag that I had in the beginning and getting relaxed at the plate," Rasmus said. "Getting that feeling that I'm trying to find, it got me on those balls that I wanted to hit instead of popping them up or rolling them over. The key is getting the barrel [of the bat] to the ball."

In the 11th inning of a tie game, from his left-field position, the left-handed Rasmus threw out Jed Lowrie trying to stretch a single into a double for the third out, with Jose Altuve applying the tag.

"That's one of the best plays I think I've ever seen an outfielder make," Lowrie said. "He's on a full sprint, he stops on a dime, picks up the ball barehanded and throws a strike on the base.

"As soon as it got past him, I thought I had a double for sure. I watched the replay, and I don't think you can do it any better than he did right there."

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.