Down 5-0, Astros win; Hamels scratched

Down 5-0, Astros win; Hamels scratched

HOUSTON -- Down by five runs early, the Astros had the Rangers right where they wanted them.

The Astros wiped out a five-run deficit on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park, getting a homer from Jose Altuve and two from Marwin Gonzalez, including a grand slam in the eighth inning off Keone Kela, and held on to beat the Rangers, 8-7.

"At the end with Marwin, that was a beautiful thing to watch," said Carlos Beltran, who went 3-for-5 against his former team. "As a team we believe in ourselves and we know we're a good-hitting ballclub. At one point people are going to get hot and we're going to be able to do just what we did."

In getting their Major League-best 12th come-from-behind win, the Astros rallied from five runs down to win for the third time this season. Prior to this year, the Astros had not come back from a five-run deficit since May 15, 2008, at San Francisco.

Altuve's two-run homer

"I think we always feel like we have a good shot [to come back]," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, whose club tied the best start in franchise history at 18-9. "It gets increasingly difficult as the game goes on."

After Cole Hamels was was scratched with an oblique injury, the Rangers rocked Mike Fiers for four home runs to take a 5-0 lead. Delino DeShields led off the game with a homer, Joey Gallo hit a solo homer in the second and Elvis Andrus cranked a solo shot in the fourth -- two batters before Jonathan Lucroy's two-run shot pushed the Texas lead to 5-0 before Fiers settled in. This was only the second time in history the Astros won when giving up five homers. The other was Aug. 19, 2016, in Baltimore.

Gallo's eighth home run

"It was an amazing game," Andrus said. "It was tough, but that's the thing about baseball, you can't fall asleep and we did that as an offense. We played hard but those guys were able to come back."

Astros pitchers sent down 14 of 15 batters following the Lucroy homer, including five strikeouts in two innings by James Hoyt. But Nomar Mazara hit a two-run homer off Luke Gregerson to start the ninth to cut the lead to 8-7. Will Harris came on to record the final three outs.

Harris K's Gomez, earns the save

Grand time: The Astros' first grand slam of the season couldn't have come at a better time. After Yuli Gurriel popped out with the bases loaded in the eighth with the Astros down by two runs, Gonzalez sent a 2-1 pitch down the right-field line and just over the fence, clearing the bases to give Houston an 8-5 lead. The Astros were 5-for-26 with the bases loaded prior to Gonzalez's first career grand slam. The ball had an exit velocity of 99 mph and traveled a projected 409 feet, according to Statcast™. More >

Gonzalez, Hoyt on 8-7 win

Claudio tires at end: Alex Claudio threw 65 pitches, the most ever for him in a Major League game, after he made a last-minute start in place of Hamels. Claudio started quickly but ran out of gas in the end. He retired 9 of 10 through the first three innings, but then gave up a two-run home run to Altuve in the fourth. He came out for the fifth but exited after allowing a leadoff home run to Gonzalez.

"In the fourth inning I was a little tired but I was competing," Claudio said. "I'm disappointed we didn't win the game but I felt like I did a good job."

Hamels scratched from start

"Down, 5-0, early on is kind of hard to come back [from]. It's a deep hole, but these guys kept fighting and have my back. They didn't give up and made every at-bat tough on them. It just shows how good this team is and how good we can be." -- Fiers

"We've got to do much better. It's not that they are not competing, but they are making pitches on us, in and out of the zone, and we swing and miss. We've got to shore that up. That can't continue." -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister

Banister on tough loss to Astros

Rangers: Right-hander Nick Martinez pitches for the Rangers against the Astros at 7:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Martinez is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.

Astros: Right-hander Charlie Morton will make his second career start against the Rangers in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. CT game at Minute Maid Park. He allowed four runs in his first 1 2/3 innings of work Friday against Oakland before retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced. He completed seven innings for the first time since 2015 and struck out a career-high 12 batters.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.