DENVER (AP) — Yuli Gurriel made himself at home at Coors Field and delivered another big hit for Houston.
Gurriel homered twice, including a go-ahead blast in the seventh inning, and also drove in four runs to lead Astros over the Colorado Rockies 9-8 on Tuesday night.
It was the third time in four games Gurriel had delivered the game-winning hit and the second time he has done it with the long ball. He hit his first career walk-off home run on Friday. Tuesday’s heroics came two innings earlier.
“He’s getting pretty good pitches to hit and he’s not missing them,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.
Jose Altuve had four hits and Gurriel and George Springer finished with three hits each to help the Astros win their fourth straight.
Altuve had his first four-hit game since May 27 of last season.
“It looked like he had a little bit of a magic wand,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.
Colorado led 8-5 entering the seventh, but Houston rallied to go ahead. Gurriel’s two-run homer off of reliever Jake McGee (0-1) capped a four-run inning that was started by three straight doubles off of reliever Bryan Shaw.
“They were good pitches, good pitches away on the black. One was about thigh high, one was about knee high and obviously the one to Altuve was a slider that was off the plate and almost in the dirt,” Shaw said. “They were three good pitches and they put good swings on them.”
Gurriel also homered in the second inning and doubled home a run in the third. He didn’t hesitate when asked if he liked hitter-friendly Coors Field in his second visit to the park. He had one hit in eight at-bats in two games last season.
“Mucho. Good stadium to hit in and the ball goes far,” he said through an interpreter.
Will Harris (3-1) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth to get the win and Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 18th save.
“You know coming in you’re just going to have to go out there and find a way to get three outs,” Harris said. “You know you’re going to give up hits and you just have to keep grinding.”
Houston starter Jose Urquidy made his major league debut before departing with two outs in the fourth inning and the Astros leading 5-2. Colorado scored five times in the fifth off of Josh James to take a 7-5 lead. Ian Desmond, who had three hits, drove in two with a double.
The Rockies added another run in the sixth on Nolan Arenado’s infield single.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa (fractured rib) and INF Aledmys Diaz (left hamstring strain) did some work at the team’s facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. “They did some on-field stuff,” Hinch said. “Correa did some groundball stuff and Diaz hit in the cage.” Hinch added that RHP Joe Smith (left Achilles tendon surgery) will pitch in Triple-A.
Rockies: SS Trevor Story (right thumb sprain) was activated from the 10-day injured list and started. Colorado optioned RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez to Triple-A Albuquerque.
There was a moment of silence before the game for Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away suddenly Monday. Arenado played with Skaggs when they were teenagers in Southern California and called him “a great teammate.”
Hinch said it was a sad day around baseball.
“It’s a tragedy beyond words. You don’t know how to address your own team or the players that knew him,” he said. “It’s a reminder of how sacred every day is. Just a sad, sad day around baseball. It will linger for a long time.”
Astros left-hander Wade Miley (6-4, 3.39) will make his 14th career start and 15th appearance against Colorado. The Rockies will have rookie right-hander Peter Lambert (2-0, 6.57) on the mound to close out the two-game interleague series.