Chris Carter’s 8th Inning Blast Lifts Houston Over Athletics


Aug 26, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter

Chris Carter

(23) hits a home run during the eighth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On the bright side, Tuesday night’s loss at the hands of the Houston Astros was not Jason Hammel‘s fault. Hammel  went 7 strong innings, allowing just 3 hits and one run while striking out 6. The run Hammel allowed was on a Dexter Fowler solo shot (8) in the 4th inning.

With the Athletics ahead 2-1 entering the bottom half of the 8th, Luke Gregerson (L, 3-3, 2.44) came in to secure the A’s 1-run lead. Things did not unfold that way. After pinch-hitter Marc Krauss grounded out on the first offering from Gregerson, Robbie Grossman reached base on a throwing error, and Jose Altuve was hit by a pitch. Enter Chris Carter. With 2 on and 1 out, Carter exited Minute Maid Park on a shot to left-center that emphatically put the Astros ahead 4-2.

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The home run by Chris Carter is his 32nd on the season, and his 5th against the A’s. It is also his second 8th inning blast in two games this series. The 3 RBI for Carter give him 77 for the season.

Up until Chris Carter’s blast, the Athletics had played a very solid game. Hammel pitched very well, and the defense behind him was fantastic. In the bottom of the 3rd with runners on second and third, Chris Carter drilled a ball to left that Jonny Gomes left his feet for, and caught while fully extended. At the time, it looked like this would be a game-saving play.

Nate Freiman made two nice defensive plays at first early in the game, both while ranging to his right. The first ball was a grounder he ate up, and got the out at first. The second was a liner that he caught in the 2nd inning off the bat of Jason Castro.

Adding to his defensive showing, Freiman also tallied an RBI double to left in the 4th that scored Jonny Gomes from first.

The loss can be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, they lost late in a game they should have won. Yet, may Jason Hammel has found something (Geovany Soto catching perhaps?) that could be worth more wins that just the one lost tonight.

Wednesday’s Probables: Drew Pomeranz (5-4, 2.91) will face Brad Peacock (3-8, 5.30).

Peacock has started 2 games against the Athletics this season. Both were in Oakland, and Peacock lost both of them. Combined he has allowed 9 earned in 8 2/3 innings pitched. Pomeranz’s only appearance against Houston this season came in relief. He worked 2 innings, giving up 4 hits, a walk and no runs.

To lighten the mood after tonight’s loss, here is a GIF of Astro’s mascot Astro (super creative) attempting to play Twister with Josh Donaldson and Alberto Callaspo: