ARLINGTON, Texas: Joey Gallo kept the Houston Astros from clinching the last playoff spot in the AL playoffs at least temporarily, driving home the winning run on a fielder’s-choice grounder in the 10th inning for a 5-4 Texas Rangers win Friday night.
The Astros were a strike away from going to the postseason for a franchise-best fourth straight year when Ronald Guzman hit a tying homer in the bottom of the ninth off Ryan Pressly.
Now Houston has to wait to see if the Los Angeles Angels lose at the Dodgers. A loss by the Angels, and the Astros (29-29) clinch second place in the AL West. Their three-year reign in the division was already ended by Oakland.
Rookie catcher Sam Huff homered twice, his second and third, for the first two Rangers runs.
Alex Bregman homered and a had a sacrifice fly that put the Astros ahead 4-3 in the top of the 10th.
Nick Solak matched Bregman’s sacrifice fly to get the last-place Rangers even in the bottom of the 10th. Gallo’s grounder was fielded by Jos Altuve, but his desperate throw home was wide, allowing pinch-runner Andrew Romine to score.
Enoli Paredes (3-3) walked Isiah Kiner-Falefa to start the Texas 10th, and the bases were loaded when first baseman Yuli Gurriel’s throw to second was wide on a sharp grounder from Willie Calhoun.
Brett Martin (1-1) got the win.
Gurriel put Houston ahead in the eighth with a single before Guzman’s tying shot, his fourth of the season.
3,000 STRAIGHT FOR PA MAN
Chuck Morgan of the Rangers is set to call his 3,000th consecutive game as a major league public address announcer Saturday. Morgan has spent 37 of his 38 seasons with Texas. The other was in Kansas City. Its hard for him to call it a celebration in a season without fans.
It would really be much better for me tomorrow night if we had 40,000 people in the ballpark, Morgan said. I dont like it, but I accept it.
Astros: RHP Josh James was placed on the 10-day injured list for an unspecified reason, and RHP Chase De Jong was brought up from the taxi squad.
Rangers: Manager Chris Woodward said rookie 3B Sherten Apostel won’t play again this season after leaving Thursday’s game with back spasms following an awkward dive to field a ball.
The Astros didn’t say before the game who would start the third game in the four-game series to finish the regular season. RHP Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.87 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Rangers.
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