ARLINGTON, Texas Houston manager A.J. Hinch thought it was clear that Texas closer Keone Kela balked with the go-ahead run at third base in the ninth inning.
Rangers counterpart Jeff Banister says he had never seen a balk ruling after umpires didn’t make the call immediately when a pitch was thrown.
Either way, the Astros have the first four-game sweep of their Texas rivals.
There was nothing, no umpire called a balk, Banister said. My argument was didn’t know that we could come out and get the umpires to convene to try to see what everybody came up with. Upsetting in the sense that you can’t argue against a balk.
Springer walked to lead off the ninth, went to second on a wild pitch and took third on a flyout by Yuli Gurriel after an intentional walk to Jose Altuve. As for the confusion after the pitch to Gattis, Hinch didn’t think there was much of an argument.
Carlos Santana hit a solo homer and added a sacrifice fly and Jesmuel Valentin drove in his first major league run for the Phillies, who have dropped three straight and nine of 12.
Velasquez retired the first two batters before issuing two walks and throwing a hanging curve to Braun. The right-hander allowed four straight two-out hits in the fourth, including consecutive RBI doubles by Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw.
Manager Gabe Kapler then drew mock cheers when he bounced out of the dugout to lift Velasquez, who was charged with 10 runs on nine hits.
We thought maybe his mechanics were a little off in the first couple (of innings) and then something clicked, Kapler said of his 1-2-3 third inning. But then ultimately, you saw, the wheels fell off.
Brewers: Eric Thames (left thumb) had a scheduled day off from his minor league rehab assignment. Counsell said Thames, who played first base and left field the previous two days, should return next week.