Hunter Brown looked great, the Astros looked great, and they finally got a win after losing the first two of a three-game series against the Twins. This time, on Sunday afternoon, they won 5-1 thanks to a strong showing from Brown and a stellar offensive performance by Chas McCormick.
To get his first win of the season, Brown went seven sharp innings of two hits and one unearned run while allowing two walks and striking out seven hitters. He lowered his ERA to 3.09 and threw under 100 pitches (97). It was the longest outing of his young MLB career.
This outing from Brown comes in handy for the Astros, especially after a rough debut against the Tigers on April 3 – when he surrendered six hits, three walks, and four earned runs over 4 2/3 innings at Comerica Park.
The Astros opened the scoreboard in the third inning as McCormick clobbered his second home run of the season, this time a two-run shot with Mauricio Dubón at first base. It was McCormick’s 30th career long ball after logging 14 in both 2021 and 2022.
With the Astros up 2-1, Chas attacked again in the fifth inning with a two-run single. He finished the game 2-for-5 with four runs batted in, making it to 101 ribbies over 234 career games in the Majors.
In the eighth, the Astros added one more run to their lead via an RBI double from Jeremy Peña, who went 2-for-4 and is now 5-for-18 over his last four games after beginning the campaign 4-for-25 in his first six contests.
With Brown out of the game, Bryan Abreu took charge of the eighth inning and struck out three hitters. Then, closer Ryan Pressly came from the ‘pen in a non-save situation and retired the side in order to seal the Astros’ fourth win of 2023.
Houston, now with a 4-6 record, is two games behind first place in the AL West. On Monday, the ‘Stros will begin an interleague three-game series against the Pirates at Pittsburgh. Framber Valdez will take the ball for the Astros while Roansy Contreras will do so for the Bucs (5:35 pm CT).