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Astros hoping walk-off wins are contagious

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HOUSTON -- If anyone knows how much of a boost a walk-off win can be to a team, it's Astros pitcher Travis Blackley. The Aussie spent the majority of the season last year with the A's, who had 14 walk-off wins in the regular season en route to the American League West title.

"When you start to do it, you believe any time you can come over the top of somebody, and it makes you harder to beat," Blackley said. "The other team knows you're capable of that, knows that you like pressure. Oakland is a massive pressure team late in the game -- look at what they just did to us in the first of the series [when the A's scored three in the ninth to win, 6-5, on Friday].

"We had them dead to rights, and in one inning, they just kind of put something together. That's what they believe they have, and that's what we need to get."

Houston's 12-inning win over the Rockies on Monday was only its third walk-off win in the last two seasons.

"They're contagious, and if we nailed down another today, we'll come home next week and probably have another," Blackley said. "They come in bunches. And that helped the A's last year. We had four in one homestand, two of them against the Yankees in a four-game set. That's ridiculous. That lets you know can beat anybody. You can take anybody's closer down, just because you believe. That's huge."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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