Kyle Tucker slugged a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Houston Astros post a 6-3 victory over the host San Diego Padres on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Carlos Correa contributed a three-run blast for Houston (79-55), which increased its lead in the American League West to 5 1/2 games over the second-place Oakland Athletics.
The setback was the 15th in the past 20 games for the Padres (71-64), who trail the Cincinnati Reds by a half-game for the National League’s second wild-card spot.
San Diego right-hander Emilio Pagan (4-1) retired the first two batters in the eighth inning before Alex Bregman lined a single to left field. Tucker followed by sending a 1-1 fastball 393 feet over the wall in right-center for his 23rd homer of the season, giving the Astros a 5-3 lead.
Jake Meyers added an insurance run with a check-swing RBI single in the ninth that caromed off Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Left-hander Blake Taylor (3-4) struck out Hosmer with the bases loaded in the seventh. Ryne Stanek worked a perfect eighth and fellow right-hander Ryan Pressley worked a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save.
Padres right-hander Jake Arrieta (hamstring) was activated from the injured list prior to the game and allowed three runs and three hits in five innings in his second start since joining San Diego. He walked one and struck out three.
Astros right-hander Jose Urquidy gave up two runs on five hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings. He fanned four.
San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as Ha-Seong Kim led off with a double and later scored on Manny Machado’s two-out infield single.
Houston’s Michael Brantley led off the fourth with a single and Tucker drew a one-out walk. One out later, Correa slugged the second pitch 429 feet over the wall in straightaway center for his 21st homer of the season to give the Astros a 3-1 lead.
The Padres cut their deficit to one in the bottom of the fifth. Trent Grisham led off the inning with a single and scored on Tommy Pham’s one-out, pinch-hit double to left center.
San Diego tied the score in the sixth. Wil Myers drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on Hosmer’s bunt single and scored when Austin Nola sent a ground single just inside the first base line.
–Field Level Media
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