Before the game even began on Tuesday night, there was already a memorable moment as former Astro Yuli Gurriel received his World Series ring from the previous year. After Gurriel got his ring, it was time for baseball and this game had a little bit of everything. The Marlins took control early, but the Astros just kept coming back, and after some weird plays and some clutch home runs, it was a tough 6-5 loss for the Marlins.
The Marlins got their offense going first by scoring three total runs in the second and third innings. Jazz Chisholm started it off with a leadoff triple in the second and on this triple he went from home to third in a blazing 11.44 seconds. Bryan De La Cruz drove him in. Then with a runner on in the third Jorge Soler blasted his 30th home run of the season to put the Marlins up 3-0.
This is now the second time in Soler’s career that he has hit 30-plus home runs. He’s on pace to join Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sheffield as the only Marlins hitters to reach 40.
Soler said postgame that “mostly staying healthy was the main goal” entering the season. “I think in an interview earlier this season, I told you guys it was going to be a lot of home runs,” he continued.
The excitement of Soler’s home run was short lived as the Astros got those two runs right back in the top of the fourth. Yordan Alvarez started the inning with a double and Yainer Diaz followed him by crushing his 16th home run of the year.
Chisholm would continue having a good day at the plate with a single in the fourth and he would then steal second to put himself into scoring position. Then Jesús Sánchez lined a single to right field to bring home Chisholm and put the Marlins up 4-2.
The Astros would again fire right back in the top of the fifth. With one run already on the board in the fifth and one man on base Kyle Tucker came up and hit a fly ball to left center field that was set up to be an out, but De La Cruz and Chisholm collided and neither came up with the ball and it allowed the tying run to score.
“Probably both didn’t hear each other, going hard trying to make a play for our pitcher. You know, it happens.” Chisholm said postgame about the play.
The Marlins would take the lead right back in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and a runner on first Josh Bell grounded a ball to second which looked to be a routine play, but the throw to first was low and the ball bounced off Jon Singleton’s glove. It was picked up by Cristian Javier who tried to throw Joey Wendle out at third, but the throw was wide allowing Wendle to score all the way from first. This put the Marlins up 5-4.
This ended Cristian Javier’s day and he was not great today as he gave up six hits to the Marlins and gave up four earned runs. The Marlins were able to hit the ball hard and find holes. Only six of Javier’s 95 pitches resulted in swinging strikes.
Cueto pitched well in spurts, but like his recent starts, he couldn’t escape the long ball. He exited with a final line of 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR.
Cueto talked postgame about his performance: “All I have to do is minimize the home run and just keep going out there, try to compete and help the team.”
The Astros took their first lead of the game in the top of the eighth inning because of a solo shot from Kyle Tucker, his 23rd of the season. He’s only the second lefty batter to take A.J. Puk deep this year (the other being Matt Olson of the Braves).
That home run would prove to be the dagger as the Marlins were unable to score in the final four innings of the game. They had the potential tying run in scoring position after Sánchez’s ninth-inning double, but Avisaíl García and Joey Wendle both struck out against Ryan Pressly to end it.
“I think that we just got burned by the long ball tonight against a really good team that slugs,” manager Skip Schumaker said.
The Marlins will take on the Astros in the series finale Wednesday night with both teams looking to secure a series win. On the mound for the Marlins is Jesús Luzardo, who is looking to bounce back after a rough start against the Yankees. On the mound for the Astros is Justin Verlander. It’ll be his third start since being traded back to Houston at the deadline. José Altuve’s availability is unclear after he exited early with a left knee contusion. First pitch is set for 6:40 EST.