On Sunday afternoon, George Springer helped the Houston Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 with a pair of solo home runs as the Astros played their last home game of the season.
The home runs were significant in many ways. With Springer set to become a free agent when the season ends, they may have been his last as an Astro at home. His first homer came in the sixth inning when he smashed the ball to deep centerfield and raced around the bases, diving into home for an inside-the-park home run. His second came in the next inning when he circled the bases after a shot to right field. It marked the 2,000th Astros home run in the 20-year history of Minute Maid Park. Springer also hit the 1,500the homer on May 11, 2016.
Springer talked about the dingers following the game.
“I was excited to tie the game; I’m just happy to help,” Springer said.
Springer said he wasn’t sure he would get more than a triple out of the first hit. He said he knew it was a home run, “When I slid in and scored and was called safe.”
“I got to third base and ran for home. I ran as hard as I could for the final 90 feet,” he said.
His next at-bat in the seventh was a solo shot that tied the game.
“It was a huge moment to tie the game,” he said.
“No, I’m not concerned about that now,” he said. “The next road trip, the next games, that’s what I’m concerned about.”
Manager Dusty Baker addressed the situation with Springer in his post-game conference.
“We hope we get to the point where he puts pressure on the Astros to sign him … This ballpark is perfect for him,” Baker said.
Against the Diamondbacks, the Astros started Jose Urquidy on the mound. He went six innings, giving up a pair of earned runs and striking out two. Blake Taylor got the win and Ryan Pressley earned the save. The Astros got the winning run in the eighth inning when Carlos Correa hit a sacrifice fly that scored Alex Bregman from third.
Baker said he was pleased that the Astros are finding ways to win one-run games of late. He said it could make a difference as they head to Seattle for three games, followed by four at the Texas Rangers to end the regular season.
“We have a chance to go up there three-up, possibly four-up,” Baker said.
There will be no more home games for the Astros this season. American League playoffs will be played in San Diego and Los Angeles, and National League games will be played in Arlington and Houston with the World Series at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park.
The Astros began their road trip Monday by getting thrashed by the Mariners in Seattle 6-1. The loss gave the AL West title to the Oakland Athletics. After Monday’s loss, the Astros magic number to clinch a playoff spot was five.