Springer, Altuve leg out three-baggers in pivotal 8th inning Wednesday
By Andrew Simon
Both George Springer and Jose Altuve possess the power to drive the ball and the speed to make an impact on the bases. Both hitters put those tools to good use on Wednesday, their eighth-inning triples helping the Astros rally to defeat the A's, 4-3, at Minute Maid Park.
Springer ignited the comeback, which began with two outs, nobody on base and Houston trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth. Facing Oakland right-hander Liam Hendriks, he connected on an 0-1 pitch with an exit velocity of 107.7 mph, according to Statcast™. The ball shot over the head of center fielder Jake Smolinski and landed 402 feet from home plate, one-hopping the wall just to the right of Tal's Hill.
That location allowed Springer to go for three bases, which he did while reaching 21.1 mph, his fourth-fastest top speed on a hit this season. Springer dove headfirst into third base without a throw, completing the trip in 11.8 seconds -- 0.2 seconds behind his season best -- for his fourth triple of 2016.
Springer then scored when Alex Bregman struck out but reached first on a wild pitch, bringing Altuve to the plate as the potential go-ahead run. While the second baseman's Statcast™ metrics on his triple don't quite measure up to Springer's, they still got the job done.
On a 1-2 pitch, Altuve smacked a line drive to right-center field at 96.5 mph, sending it 346 feet and over the head of right fielder Danny Valencia.
With the ball then bouncing to the wall, Bregman scored easily with the tying run, while Altuve topped out at 20.2 mph as he made his way to third for his fifth triple. His home-to-third time of 12.0 seconds was a half-second behind his season best in that category.
Following an intentional walk to Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis singled to left field, bringing home Altuve with what proved to be the winning run.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.