Yuli Gurriel wasn’t expecting to play in Sunday’s regular season finale, content to chill in the dugout and watch his teammates as he sat on his lead in the American League batting race.
Instead, Astros manager Dusty Baker decided to pull Carlos Correa in the top of the ninth inning to allow the fans to give him a standing ovation, which meant inserting Gurriel into the game. However, with a 6-3 lead, it seemed unlikely that Gurriel would get to step to the plate.
That changed when Oakland tied it with a three-spot in the ninth. It also set the stage perfectly for Gurriel, who came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run on third. He delivered a single to left to win the game and only pad his lead in the batting race.