Having already earned at least a split in their four-game set against the Yankees, the Houston Astros came into Sunday’s game with the goal of a series win.
Jose Altuve made sure the Astros got off to a good start by slamming Nestor Cortes’ (6-3, 2.31) opening pitch of the ballgame over the left-field fence. Off the bat at 100 MPH, Altuve’s 15th round-tripper of the season traveled 381 feet before landing in the cheap seats. The jack moved Altuve into a seven-way tie for 425th on the all time list with 179 career homers, tied with Joe Rudi and Jose Ramirez, among others.
Jose Urquidy (6-3, 4.68) took his turn on the hill for Houston, eventually retiring with a line of 7.0IP 1H 1R 1ER 3BB 3SO 1HR on 100 pitches. The outing dropped his ERA to 4.36.
In the fourth inning, with the Astros still leading 1-0, Yuli Gurriel, Jeremy Pena, and Mauricio Dubon added to the Astros lead with consecutive two out hits. They collected a single, a double, and a single respectively to make it 3-0.
With two down in the bottom of the inning, Anthony Rizzo drew a four-pitch walk off Urquidy, New York’s first baserunner of the game. Giancarlo Stanton followed by driving one on a rope to deep right field with an .850 xBA, only it was caught by Kyle Tucker, reacting quickly to his left to make the catch.
Cortes lasted five innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits and a pair of walks. He struck out seven on a total of 85 pitches, growing his ERA to 2.51. He left in favor of reliever Miguel Castro
Going back to Friday’s game, in which the Astros bullpen collected the final six outs after New York’s final hit (a D.J. LeMahieu single leading off the eighth), Houston strung together 17 1⁄3 consecutive no-hit innings. Urquidy finally surrendered a hit with one out in the seventh, a solo homer to Stanton. The ball was 111 MPH off the bat, and traveled 436 feet to right-center before landing. Urquidy retired the next two without incident, finishing his night.
With two out in the bottom of the eighth, off reliever Phil Maton, the Bombers tied it on a LaMahieu long-ball to left field. It traveled 386 feet at 102 MPH to make it 3-3. After allowing another pair of baserunners, Maton was lifted in favor of Bryan Abreu. It took three pitches for Abreu to retire Stanton, swinging.
In the ninth, relief pitcher Ryne Stanek issued a one-out walk to Gleyber Torres, who moved to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by catcher Jason Castro. Stanek then struck out Aaron Hicks on a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play in which Castro picked off a prone Torres at third. Torres was injured somehow, but got off the field on his own power.
In the top half of the tenth, with “ghost runner” Castro on second, Altuve got on bases by way of a Isiah Kiner-Falefa fielding error. Although Castro had to stay on second on the play, he did end up stealing third not too long after that, his first in six years. Altuve then stole second with one out, bring up Alex Bregman with two in scoring position.
After Bregman drew a seven-pitch walk to load the bases, Tucker then Gurriel each popped out weakly to end Houston’s threat.
Seth Martinez came in to try and retire the Yankees in the 10th, but eventually surrendered a three-run homer to Aaron Judge, his 28th of the season. It traveled 417 feet at 112 MPH, and sent the Astros home with a split.
- The four starting pitchers managed to go 27 innings and allow only seven hits, a .080 batting average against through the series. Against the “best” offense in the game.
- Altuve basically did whatever he wanted through the four games. He was five-for-14 with four walks, two stolen bases, four runs, two doubles, two homers, and two RBI (.257/.500/.944).
- Although the Yankees earned a split, they never led in any of the four contests until their walk-off victories.
- The Astros will remain in New York City for two more games against the New York Mets, starting tomorrow night at 6:10PM CDT.