Astros pitcher punches himself in face after allowing homer

Houston Astros reliever Ken Giles kicks the mound. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

By Alex ButlerUPI

Houston Astros pitcher Ken Giles took out his frustration after giving up a home run to the New York Yankees by punching himself in the face.

Giles did so in the top of the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 4-0 win Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas. The Astros righty replaced starter Justin Verlander to start the frame.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge singled in the first at-bat of the inning. Didi Gregorious doubled in the next plate appearance, sending Judge to third base. After being calmed down with a mound visit, Giles struck out Giancarlo Stanton.

Another mound visit came before Giles settled in against Sanchez. The exchange lasted just one pitch. Sanchez turned on an 88-mph slider and belted it to center field for a 423-foot home run. The ball left the park at 109.2 mph and gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

Giles turned around after Sanchez made contact. He eyed the ball as it sailed over the centerfield fence. He allowed another single to Aaron Hicks in the next at-bat, before getting yanked out of the game and replaced by Will Harris.

The relief pitcher walked back to the dugout with an obviously frustrated demeanor. Giles first slammed his hand against his chest, before screaming and clinching his right fist. He then punched himself in the right side of his face. Giles completed his tantrum by throwing a bat on the dugout floor before kicking it.

Harris allowed a run on a wild pitch, before finally getting out of the inning on a Tyler Austin grounder.

Giles earned the loss on the hill, despite Verlander allowing just three hits and tossing 14 strikeouts in eight shutout innings.

“I screwed up a win,” Giles told reporters. “We should have won this game. We should have bounced back. I didn’t give our team a chance. Of course I’m going to be frustrated with that. This team deserves the best out of everybody and they need me to be the best I can be. They deserve that and that’s what I’m going to give them from here on out.”

Sanchez went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, a run scored and a strikeout in the win. He is now hitting .214 on the season, with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.