The designated hitter belted his second career walk-off home run,
drilling a leadoff shot into the left-field seats to give the Astros
a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night at
Minute Maid Park.
Carter, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts entering his final at-bat, lined
a 2-2 fastball from Diamondbacks right-hander J.J. Putz (1-1) 343
feet into the second row of the Crawford Boxes in left for his
team-leading 13th home run of the season. He previously delivered a
walk-off homer on July 6, 2012, against the Seattle Mariners while
playing for the Oakland Athletics.
"We found out again tonight why we keep running him out there,"
Porter said of Carter, who is batting .199 with 69 strikeouts. "We
know he can change the game with one swing and now we know he can
end the game with one swing."
The Astros (31-37) claimed three of four games against the
Diamondbacks (29-40) in the home-and-home, interleague series.
Left-hander Tony Sipp (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless
inning of relief.
"We've got to suck it up," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "It
hurts. You want to win that game, but Carter had the home run, and
they had last at-bat."
Trailing 4-3 entering the top of the ninth, the Diamondbacks needed
one swing to force extra innings. Catcher Miguel Montero crushed the
first pitch from Astros closer Chad Qualls out to left. Qualls had
logged 19 consecutive scoreless appearances covering 17 2/3 innings,
but Montero ended that run of brilliance with his ninth home run of
The Astros had squandered an opportunity to add to their tenuous
one-run lead in the seventh inning, loading the bases with no outs
yet failing to score. After center fielder Dexter Fowler stroked a
leadoff single, second baseman Jose Altuve reached after being hit
by a pitch before right fielder George Springer walked to load the
Arizona snuffed out that rally by summoning sidewinding left-hander
Joe Thatcher from the bullpen, with Thatcher inducing a weak infield
popup from first baseman Jon Singleton. Third baseman Matt Dominguez
followed by hitting into a 1-2-3 double play, the first of two
inning-ending double plays with the bases full. The second came in
After the Astros had taken a 1-0 lead in the first, the Diamondbacks
tied it in the third. But Astros right-hander Scott Feldman managed
to escape further damage when he stranded Diamondbacks center
fielder Ender Inciarte on third base after he reached on an error by
Altuve and advanced into scoring positing on a stolen base.
Feldman allowed another run in the sixth. He plunked second baseman
Didi Gregorius with a pitch and Gregorius eventually scored on a
wild pitch after moving to third on a double to left-center field by
first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
The Astros bashed their way to four runs in the first four innings
against Arizona left-hander Wade Miley.
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"I didn't have good stuff tonight," Miley said. "I wasn't
locating at all, and balls were all over the place. It was a bad
night. I couldn't hit a spot -- ever. I'd throw one way and it'd go
Singleton crushed a one-out solo homer into the upper deck in right
to break a 1-all tie in the third inning.
An inning later, Astros catcher Carlos Corporan followed a leadoff
walk by Robbie Grossman with a two-run homer to left field.
Miley departed with eight strikeouts in five innings and did his own
wiggling out of bigger innings, particularly in the first when the
Astros loaded the bases with no outs yet came away with only a 1-0
lead. His resiliency enabled the Diamondbacks to rally late, but
their comeback proved pointless when Carter earned another shot to
prove his worth.
"It's the greatest feeling in baseball," Carter said. "It's what you
dream of, going up there and hitting the walk-off home run to win
the game. Jumping around at home plate with everyone and
NOTES: One day after the Astros announced the signing of 1B A.J.
Reed, their second-round selection in the draft, the team introduced
their third-round selection, 3B J.D. Davis. While Reed and Davis are
officially the only players in the top 10 rounds to have signed,
there are multiple reports that the Astros have reached an agreement
with the first overall selection from the draft, LHP Brady Aiken,
that includes a $6.5 million bonus. ... Astros 2B Jose Altuve was
back in the starting lineup after missing his first game of the
season on Wednesday with oblique soreness. ... The Diamondbacks
claimed INF/C Jordan Pacheco from the Colorado Rockies and
designated INF/OF Nick Evans for assignment. Additionally, RHP
Trevor Cahill was optioned to high-Class A Visalia after being
designated for assignment on June 9.
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