Astros win in walk-off fashion, cut magic number to 1

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 28: Celebration abounds at Minute Maid Park on September 28, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) (Bob Levey, 2021 Getty Images)

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros edged closer to clinching their division title, and they did so in dramatic fashion.

Houston defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 with a walk-off, bases-loaded walk by Jason Castro in the bottom of the ninth inning. That capped off a comeback from a 3-2 deficit and followed a bases-loaded walk just one at-bat earlier by Chas McCormick that had brought in the game-tying run.

This came after Randy Arozarena had hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning of the Astros’ Phil Maton to give Tampa the 3-2 lead.

The Astros had trailed most of the game after being no-hit in the first five innings by Rays starting pitcher Michael Wacha. Houston would breakthrough in the sixth inning with an Alex Bregman solo home run, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

Jose Altuve tied the game 2-2 in the eighth inning with his 31st homer of the season before Arozarena hit his home run and before the Astros closed things out with back-to-back bases-loaded walks for the win.

Houston now reduces their magic number to 1, leaving open the possibility of clinching the American League West division late Tuesday night if the Mariners lose to the Athletics.