Astros respond with back-to-back HRs in 9th

Astros respond with back-to-back HRs in 9th

HOUSTON -- Talk about a power surge. Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis hit back-to-back homers in the ninth to give the Astros a 5-4 victory over the Rays on Friday night in the series opener. It was Houston's first win at Minute Maid Park in five games and its 10th walk-off win this season, which is the most in the Majors.

Rays right fielder Mikie Mahtook had belted a go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth off Ken Giles, but Correa, who has discovered a certain knack for coming through in the clutch this season, blasted a leadoff shot over the right-field wall in the bottom half to tie at 4. Gattis then fended off Alex Colome, who suffered his second blown save of the season, in a lengthy at-bat before smashing the game-winner on a pitch high in the zone.

"Emotional wins can lift a team," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "The clubhouse is screaming. We got to watch Gattis strip his clothes off. That was entertaining, and we get to walk out of here with a nice walk-off win for the fans."

Correa's homer ties the game

"Obviously a tough loss," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "A lot of quick change emotions right there. Mikie comes up and gets a huge home run against a really good pitcher. Then, we give it right back to those guys. Correa obviously was ready to hit the first pitch. And Gattis put together a pretty good at-bat."

Both starting pitchers put together quality starts. Astros righty Mike Fiers went 6 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and three runs -- two on wild pitches -- and struck out five. Rays lefty Drew Smyly logged six innings and surrendered only three hits and three runs -- all in the first two innings. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Mahtook's long go-ahead homer

"Both teams got to their bullpens in a tie game that rarely give up runs: Boxberger, Colome, Harris, Giles," Hinch said. "It was a battle of bullpens, and we got two big hits."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jake Day: Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick apparently appreciated being back at Minute Maid Park as he sent the third pitch he saw into the Crawford Boxes in the second inning. Marisnick's solo shot, which put the Astros up 3-0, was his fourth of the season. The homer was Houston's last hit until Yulieski Gurriel's leadoff single in the seventh.

Marisnick's solo jack in the 2nd

"For a while, he was the only guy getting on base for a few innings," Hinch said of Marisnick, "... but he finds a way to contribute."

Three times two: Corey Dickerson doubled in his first three at-bats. The first two resulted with him scoring on wild pitches and the third drove in Logan Morrison to tie the game at 3 in the seventh. Tomas Perez holds the Rays' record for most doubles in a game with four, which the journeyman infielder accomplished on July 29, 2006, at Yankee Stadium.

Dickerson's game-tying double

"You just try to put a good swing on the ball," Dickerson said. "Unfortunately, we lost the game."

Sloppy in the field: Rays first baseman Brad Miller could not hang on to the ball when Smyly threw to first with Jose Altuve aboard in the first inning. Altuve scampered to second base and when Miller soft-tossed the ball back to Smyly, Altuve alertly raced to third. He scored on a single by Gattis.

Altuve hustles after an error

Wild Fiers: While Fiers pitched well enough to muster a quality start, the few mistakes he made proved costly. The right-hander uncorked a trio of wild pitches in the third and fifth innings, two of which resulted in runs, cutting Houston's lead to 3-2. The Astros lead the Majors in wild pitches with 72, and Fiers has accounted for 12.

Fiers fans five over 6 1/3

"I guess when you try to be perfect, you're not as good," Fiers said. "For me, I just [need] to throw. I just need to get it, take the sign from Gatty and deliver the pitch. Sometimes it gets away from me ... but other than that, I felt like I pitched the ball well."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Marisnick's homer in the second was the 27th surrendered by Smyly this season. Since 2015, Smyly has allowed 38 home runs in 216 2/3 innings. He logged his sixth quality start in his last seven outings.

Smyly's productive start

The Astros have now slugged 16 home runs in their last eight games, which is the second-most in the AL during that span. Houston is also slugging .504 during that stretch.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rays: Left-hander Blake Snell (4-6, 3.17) will make the 14th start of his rookie season on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Snell has yielded two earned runs or fewer in eight consecutive starts. Rays catcher Bobby Wilson is hitting .500 with a home run against Astros starter Dallas Keuchel.

Astros: Looking to snap a four-game losing skid against the Rays, Keuchel will take the mound on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. CT in the middle game of this series. Keuchel (8-12, 4.64 ERA) is 0-4 in six career starts against Tampa Bay.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com and covers the Rays.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Astros on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.