Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve opened the scoring against the Tampa Bay Rays in Sunday's Game 1 of the American League Championship Series by hitting a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Altuve helped kickstart the scoring in Monday's Game 2 loss as well … albeit for the Rays, and albeit in a less-direct manner.
Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. had seemingly completed his first inning of work when he coerced a groundball from Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi to the right side. Altuve, stationed in an overshift, fielded the ball in shallow right field and lobbed it to first. Alas, Yuli Gurriel was unable to corral it -- not that he appeared to make the most enthusiastic of efforts for it, either:
What appeared to be a routine play was instead deemed a Gurriel error. Later, the official scorer changed their mind, charging Altuve with the mistake. (We vote for them sharing the blame.)
That mistake would be bad enough on its own, but Manuel Margot soon made matters worse for Altuve and the Astros by launching a hanging curveball from McCullers and delivering a three-run home run to center field. Take a look:
Margot, apparently on a one-player mission to make the Astros as annoyed as possible on Monday afternoon, then delivered with a running catch in the top of the second that saw him go head-over-heels over a wall and out of the field of play. The play was notable on its own merits, but it also eliminated a rally on Houston's part: the Astros had two on and two out with George Springer at the dish.
According to Statcast, Margot had to run more than 100 feet to track down the ball:
Margot was all right despite taking the nasty fall.