MLB: Jose Urquidy fans 10 as Astros top Rangers
Jose Urquidy pitched into the seventh inning and matched his career high for strikeouts while Jose Altive clubbed his league-leading fifth leadoff home run as the Houston Astros claimed their four-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers with a 5-2 victory on Sunday.
Urquidy (4-1) was exceptional, allowing one run on six hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts over a season-high 6 2/3 innings, equaling his strikeout total against the Oakland Athletics on Sept. 11, 2019. He fanned at least one batter in every inning excluding the sixth and allowed just one extra-base hit, a leadoff home run to Rangers designated hitter Mitch Garver in the fifth inning.
Urquidy generated 20 swings and misses, 10 on 51 four-seam fastballs. He threw 98 pitches, 79 for strikes, and excluding the Garver homer, allowed just two baserunners to get into scoring position.
Altuve spotted the Astros a 1-0 lead with his ninth home run this season, driving a full-count fastball from Rangers left-hander Taylor Hearn (2-3) into the Crawford Boxes seats in left field. Hearn rebounded and retired seven consecutive batters before the Astros doubled their lead on an Alex Bregman run-scoring double that scored Altuve, who doubled, with one out in the third.
After Texas sliced the deficit in half on the Garver dinger, his fourth, the Astros responded with a two-spot in the fifth. Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel smacked consecutive two-out RBI doubles, with Alvarez plating Bregman from first base and chasing Hearn from the mound. Gurriel greeted Rangers reliever Brett Martin with a double to the right-center gap that scored Alvarez.
Hearn allowed four runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.
Jeremy Pena delivered an RBI single to right field in the eighth off Rangers reliever Matt Moore that drove in Kyle Tucker from second. The Astros had five extra-base hits and finished 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Altuve went 2-for-4 for his seventh multi-hit game this month.
Brad Miller delivered a run-scoring single in the ninth inning off Astros closer Ryan Pressly, but pinch-hitter Jonah Heim rolled into a game-ending double play that squelched the rally. The Rangers have dropped 25 of their last 28 games in Houston and 16 of 20 to the Astros overall.
–Field Level Media