Altuve's walk-off blast hands Astros a sweep

Altuve's walk-off blast hands Astros a sweep

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve hammered a 3-1 pitch from Craig Breslow over the wall in left for a walk-off homer with one out in the ninth, giving the Astros a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park. The home run was confirmed after replay review.

The homer gave the Astros, who acquired lefty Scott Kazmir from the A's earlier in the day, a three-game sweep, and sent the Red Sox home with an 0-7 road trip. Overall, Boston has lost eight in a row. The Astros are now one game behind the Angels in the American League West.

"It's really nice obviously when you win a game, it's going to be good," Altuve said. "We were going back and forth today, but all that matters at the end of the day is getting the win."

Down 2-1, the Astros turned the tables with three runs against the Red Sox's bullpen in the seventh. Colby Rasmus tied it with a pinch-hit homer against Alexi Ogando. Marwin Gonzalez (RBI double) and Evan Gattis (RBI single) put Houston in front with clutch hits against Junichi Tazawa.

The Red Sox bounced right back in the eighth. David Ortiz ripped a solo shot to right to make it a one-run game. Astros manager A.J. Hinch brought on closer Luke Gregerson for a four-out save, but Mike Napoli scorched an RBI double over left fielder Preston Tucker's head to tie it up.

Napoli regains power stroke: Napoli's solo shot in the second ended a 73 at-bat homerless drought that stretched back to June 17. He added two doubles for his first three-hit game since April 25. More >

"Yeah, I mean I've been feeling a lot better since the All-Star break," said Napoli. "But yeah, I put it together tonight. What I was working on I brought it into the game. It was a good feeling to make good contact and I've been seeing the ball well."

Napoli's solo shot

Mashing Marwin: Gonzalez, hitting .351 in his last 29 games as a utility infielder, evened the game in the first inning after starter Lance McCullers struggled, depositing a 2-1 pitch into the Crawford Boxes. He rocketed a double over Mookie Betts' head in center to drive in the go-ahead run in the three-run seventh, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple.

"I think it's just baseball," Gonzalez said. "It's back and forth. I'm having a good time right now at home plate. I'm not doing anything different. I'm just coming early and going to the cage like everybody else, try to work."

Gonzalez's solo jack

No need for speed: After being easily thrown out trying to advance on a ball in the dirt following his fifth-inning double, Altuve was seen smashing his helmet in the dugout in disgust at the thought of squandering a chance to cut into a 2-1 Red Sox lead. No speed was needed in the ninth, though, as Altuve knocked his ninth homer of the season just over the left-field wall for Houston's first walk-off home run of the year. More >

"He got a little unlucky," Hinch said. "The ball stayed close to [catcher Ryan] Hanigan and Hanigan made a nice play. It's bang-bang. You're trying to get to third with less than two outs. But I will tell you [the walk-off home run] makes for a happy flight. It makes for a good team win."

Hinch on walk-off win

Bullpen gives it up for Sox: Wade Miley pitched well for the second straight start, and again he didn't have a win to show for it. Ogando and Tazawa couldn't get the job done in the seventh, and Breslow lost the game with a misfire to Altuve in the ninth.

"We had a tough time keeping guys in the ballpark. The way they're able to go left-right-left throughout their lineup, sooner or later they end up getting a matchup they're looking for," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "After a strong six innings by Wade, who really battled tonight, we battled back into this one to tie it. Unfortunately, we get walked off once again."

Miley goes six innings

Altuve's bomb was the Astros' first walk-off home run since June 27, 2014, when Jason Castro cranked one against the Tigers.

This was Boston's first winless road trip of seven or more games since an 0-8 trip at the end of the 1951 season.

Hinch challenged the 8-6-5 putout of Gonzalez on his go-ahead double in the seventh, but the call was confirmed after review.

Betts gets Gonzalez after review

A half-inning later, a crew chief review was employed on Hanley Ramirez's successful steal of second base with nobody out. After review, it was ruled that the call stands.

Ramirez's stolen base stands

Red Sox: Rick Porcello (5-10, 5.79 ERA) faces his former team for the first time on Friday night when the Tigers come to Fenway Park for the opener of a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Porcello was 76-63 in 184 games for the Tigers before getting dealt to the Red Sox in December for Yoenis Cespedes.

Astros: Kazmir (5-5, 2.38 ERA) makes his Astros debut to open a three-game road set against the Royals on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT after Houston acquired him Thursday from Oakland in exchange for two prospects. He's allowed three or fewer earned runs in 17 of his 18 starts this season, while his .213 opponents' batting average is fourth in the AL.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.