The Astros finished the weekend in a winning fashion. On Sunday afternoon, in the final contest of a three-game series, Houston got a 9-1 win against the Angels with help from José Urquidy and big hits from its offense, who scored nine times for the first time since August 18 (21-5 vs White Sox).
Making his 25th start of the campaign, Urquidy threw seven shutout innings, allowed four hits, gave up a walk, and fanned eight hitters. Urquidy’s record improved to 13-5 with a 3.51 ERA. He also set a new career-high for pitches thrown today – this time, his pitch count got to 111 (73 strikes).
Urquidy’s gone at least seven innings in four of his most recent six starts after pitching seven innings or more only twice in his first 19 outings of 2022. At this point, he seems to continue building up his stamina and going longer in games.
The 27-year-old was backed up by a five-run second inning that began with a two-run home run from Kyle Tucker (23), just his second in his last 19 games. Then, David Hensley hit a two-run double and José Altuve registered an RBI two-bagger of his own to give the Astros an early, comfortable 5-0 lead.
With Urquidy pitching a solid game, the game had a quick pace –it lasted only 2:43 hours— and both teams hung zeroes until the top seventh. Altuve, who went 3-for-4 with a triple shy of the cycle, blasted his 23rd bomb of the season with Mauricio Dubón on board to leave things 7-0.
In his last 30 games, since August 1, Altuve has 39 hits over 113 at-bats (.345) with 14 doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs, 22 runs, 14 walks, and even five steals in as many attempts.
After Urquidy’s performance was over, Brandon Bielak took the mound for the final two innings. He allowed Mike Trout’s 29th long ball of the year, but that was it. However, the Astros added two more runs thanks to a Yordan Álvarez two-run single in the ninth inning.
Make that 11 hits today for the Astros. pic.twitter.com/yQdVHH90zw— Houston Astros (@astros) September 4, 2022
On Monday, the Astros will host the Rangers for a three-game series, their final matchup against Texas in 2022. As an exclamation point, highly-touted prospect Hunter Brown, #1 in the Astros organization, will be making his MLB debut as the Astros’ starter against left-hander Martín Pérez.