The Astros return to Houston on a high note after a series in Pittsburgh. They took their first series of 2023 with a strong showing at the plate, on the mound, and in the field.
Jose Urquidy recorded a six-inning shutout allowing only two hits but, uncharacteristically, three walks. Defense saved him several times, including diving catches by outfielders Chas McCormick, Kyle tucker, and Corey Julks.
Meanwhile, the Astros offense piled on all game, highlighted by a Julks solo homer, a three-run blast by Alex Bregman, and an RBI double by Jose Abreu, who had two hits. Overall the Astros had 12 hits, five walks, and struck out only twice — a far cry from recent performances.
The Astros got the scoring started in the third inning with a McCormick leadoff single and Abreu’s RBI double.
Julks added a run in the fourth with his first career homer, 405 feet to left field.
Bregman added three more in the seventh with his second homer in two days, scoring McCormick and catcher Yainier Diaz in front of him.
And the Astros added their final two runs on sacrifice flies by Diaz and Kyle Tucker, scoring Julks, who doubled, and Mauricio Dubon, respectively.
Following Uquidy’s exit after the sixth inning, the Astros bullpen of Hector Neris, Bryan Abreu, and Ronel Blanco held the Pirates hitless and scoreless.
Every Astros starter but one had at least one hit, and McCormick, Abreu, Julks, and Diaz each had two. Jose Urquidy got his first win of the season but has a 2.36 ERA in three games.
The Astros are off tomorrow before hosting the Rangers at Minute Maid Park Friday evening.