George Springer continues to be a force for Astros

You could say that has rallied nicely after starting his experience by striking out four times in Game 1.

Springer homered on Tuesday for Houston’s only run as starter and four relief pitchers combined on a six hitter in a 3-1 victory that forced a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday.

After striking out in his first at-bat, Springer hit an opposite-field home run off Hill in the third inning. He later was walked intentionally and singled.

Springer is batting .375 in the Series, and his nine hits include four home runs. The only players to hit more homers in a Series are of the in 1977 and , when he played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. They each hit five.

Springer has six extra-base hits, tying him with 11 others in second place behind Willie Stargell of the , who had seven in 1979.

Gurriel hits through boos

Yuli Gurriel, in the wake of his insensitive remark and racist gesture about on Saturday, was lustily booed by the Dodger Stadium crowd, when he was introduced before the game, before each at-bat and even between pitches.

He managed a single in four at-bats, giving him 21 during the playoffs, which is second all-time for a rookie behind Derek Jeter’s 22 for the New York Yankees in 2002.

Strike up the Ks

struck out nine in his six innings Tuesday, giving him 150 during the playoffs in his career. The ranks fourth all-time behind John Smoltz (199), (183) and Roger Clemens (173).

Life lessons

One of the toughest postseason decisions Houston manager A.J. Hinch had to make had nothing to do with pitching changes or setting a lineup: whether to take daughters Hailey and Kaitlin out of school to accompany their dad on the ’ playoff run.

“They’ve been to school six days this month, which is hard for me,” Hinch said before Tuesday’s game. “A Stanford grad; it’s hard for me to pull my kids out of school.”

In a way, he said, the girls are getting an education, or at least life experiences they won’t forget.

“There’s so much of this story behind the scenes,” Hinch said. “All of us in baseball cherish our families and what they sacrifice for us to live out this dream and do this crazy stuff.”

For example, Halloween was a little different this year. It was celebrated at the team’s hotel.

“The trick-or-treating in the hotel will suffice because I think this is special circumstances,” Hinch said. “So is missing school.”

Basketball bonding

This was catcher ’s first season with the Astros. So in an effort to get to know his new teammates, when the team was rained out of an April game in Oakland, he bought a luxury suite for a Golden State Warriors’ playoff game and hosted a boys’ night out.

He did the same thing Monday night in Los Angeles, renting a suite at Staples Center for the Clippers’ game with Golden State.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Hinch said. “And I’ve been on a lot of teams, and winning teams will always brag about their chemistry and the culture and the camaraderie. To live it is pretty special.

“We had a mixture of guys: We had some core guys that had come back from our ’15 and ’16 team. We had some veterans, like [ and McCann and [. We had some guys that were making our team for the first time, guys like [Alex] Bregman, and Gurriel. So it contributes at some level. “

; Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter

; Follow Mike Hiserman on Twitter

Leave a Comment