The Houston Astros maintained a grip on the American League's second wild-card spot in prolific fashion Friday evening, scoring a franchise-record 21 runs in a 21-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
All told, the Astros collected 19 hits from 13 different players in an explosive offensive display. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the 21 runs are also the most the Diamondbacks have surrendered in a single game in franchise history.
Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel picked up his 20th win of the season by scattering six hits and allowing just two runs in six innings. According to the Astros' official Twitter account, Keuchel is the first Houston pitcher in 10 years to win 20 games.
As for the performance at the plate, ESPN Stats & Info noted the Astros were late arrivers when it came to crashing the 21-run party:
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle offered a telling statistical juxtaposition regarding the Astros' outburst:
The Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith put the outrageous run total in perspective by comparing the Astros' offense to the Houston Texans' 23rd-ranked unit:
MLB.com's Brian McTaggart offered another reason to be impressed with Houston's showing:
After Houston put up four runs in the top of the eighth to temporarily stretch the lead to 19, the Diamondbacks' official Twitter account decided to have some fun with the situation:
As has been the case throughout the season, shortstop Carlos Correa led the way. The 21-year-old phenom went 3-for-4 with four RBI and four runs scored. He also fell a double short of the cycle, which put him in some seriously elite company, according to the Astros' Twitter account:
MLB.com passed along video of Correa's solo shot in the top of the fourth inning:
The homer was the 22nd of the season for Correa, who now owns the Astros' rookie record for dingers previously held by Lance Berkman.
As a team, Houston clubbed four home runs, as Luis Valbuena, Colby Rasmus and George Springer all chipped in long balls to crush the Diamondbacks.
For a team that lost eight of 11 games between Sept. 14 and Sept. 25, the resiliency that's been shown of late has been quite impressive. Including Friday night's drubbing, the Astros have won five of their last six games and are finally getting their mojo back.
"We’ve gone full circle," manager A.J. Hinch said, per Nightengale. "We’d gone from being an underdog with low expectations, to high expectations, to difficult times in September, and now being an underdog again."
If the Los Angeles Angels lose to the Texas Rangers and the Astros beat the Diamondbacks on Saturday, Houston would clinch a wild-card berth and the team's first postseason appearance since 2005. The Astros control their destiny, as they have a one-game lead on the Angels and a two-game lead on the Minnesota Twins.