On Sunday, the Astros rounded up a difficult week by avoiding a sweep against the reigning champs. This time, they came from behind and were helped by José Urquidy’s solid performance on the hill to beat the Braves 5-4 in the final game of the road trip. Houston’s week is done after winning three and losing four.
The game didn’t begin the way the Astros wanted. In the bottom of the first inning, Matt Olson greeted José Urquidy with a two-run home run to crack the scoreboard 2-0. But the Astros were driven by the will to win and loaded the bases in the third for Yordan Álvarez, who came back after feeling ill and having medical tests. Against Charlie Morton’s first pitch, Air Yordan registered a game-tying, two-run single to make it 2-2.
After that, it was a pitcher’s duel between Urquidy and Morton. Urquidy, the winning pitcher (12-4), went seven strong innings, allowed five hits and two earned runs, gave up two walks, and struck out six. Former Astro Morton, punched out 11 hitters through six innings of five-hit, two-run ball with two bases on balls.
In the eighth inning, the Astros embraced another scenario with a runner in scoring position. With men at first and second, Kyle Tucker got a clutch RBI single to put Houston ahead 3-2 while Jeremy Peña brought home the Astros’ fourth run of the game with a sacrifice fly (4-2).
An inning later, the Astros added what looked like just an insurance run at the moment, but in the end, it was the run that made the difference. Yuli Gurriel, right after Mauricio Dubón stole second base, drove him in with the fifth and final run of the game for Houston. Gurriel finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a strikeout – he’s batting .357 (15-for-42) with three doubles, five ribbies, and nine runs over his last 10 games.
However, the Astros’ lone win in this series didn’t come easy. The Braves tried to come back in the ninth inning and scored twice against Ryan Pressly, but the closer struck out swinging Michael Harris II on three pitches to end the game. Pressly got his 25th save of the season and is one away from tying his season-high (26).
The Astros are ready to go back to Houston and host the Twins for a three-game series starting on Tuesday, which will mark the return of star shortstop Carlos Correa to Minute Maid Park. Justin Verlander is going to start game one.