In his fourth start of the year, Cristian Javier completed seven innings of scoreless ball as the Astros offense provided just enough support to give the Astros a 2-0 win.
For Javier it is his 17 straight inning without allowing a run, and the longest outing of his career.
Although Javier was not as sharp with his control as in more recent starts, his swing and miss stuff held the Mariners scoreless. He only threw 60 strikes out of 107 total pitches and walked three. He got a first strike on only 11 of the 24 batters he faced.
No matter, Javier allowed only two hits and had six strikeouts. Of his 60 strikes, 14 were of the swinging variety. His game score was 76.
The bullpen threw two perfect innings, the eighth by Brooks Raley, and the ninth by Ryan Pressly, who threw 11 strikes out of 11 pitches and ended the game striking out Kyle Seager to earn his 3rd save.
An Astros rally in the fourth off Mariners starter Marco Gonzalez was enough to protect the pitching staff’s goose egg. Michael Brantley started the inning with a single, followed by an Alex Bregman double. With no outs Yordan Alvarez sliced a liner to left that was caught on a great play by left-fielder Taylor Trammell. However, it was enough to sacrifice Brantley for the Astros’ first run. Two outs later Kyle Tucker finally caught a break, singling home Bregman on an infield hit up the middle to the second baseman.
The single was Tucker’s softest hit ball of the night at 101.8 MPH. It had an expected BA of .370. In two other AB’s he hit two flyouts, one at 101.8 MPH with an expected BA of .810, and the other hit at 106.3 with an expected BA of .720.
Tucker also made this heads-up defensive play.
Tomorrow is another 7:10 starting time at MMP. It’s a Greinke night.
Box score and videos HERE.