HOUSTON — For the 1st time in 35 years, the Astros swept a seven-game homestand — and for the 1st time at Minute Maid Park — getting super pitching from their beginning rotation and bullpen and doing simply sufficient offensively to position them at the heels of the first-place Angels within the American League West.
The Astros polished off a four-game sweep of the Tigers on Sunday afternoon, with 3 pitchers combining to throw a one-hit shutout within the 5-0 win. Aledmys Díaz cranked a third-inning grand slam to assist second-place Houston to its first 7-0 homestand since sweeping the Braves and Cardinals from Aug. 14-20, 1987, within the Astrodome.
Astros starter Jake Odorizzi delivered his 0.33 consecutive forged get started by means of throwing 5 innings and permitting only one hit. Cristian Javier piggybacked him and retired 9 of 10 batters he confronted with 5 strikeouts, and Héctor Neris capped the shutout with a 1-2-3 9th inning that integrated a house run-saving catch on the right-field wall by means of Kyle Tucker.
“The pitchers are still ahead of the hitters,” Astros supervisor Dusty Baker stated. “Even though they’re throwing good, they’re having a little trouble on offense over there scoring some runs. That’s all around the league and all around baseball. We’ll take it. We didn’t get a lot of hits, but we got the big hit when it counted by Díaz. It was a major blow for us.”
Right here’s a better take a look at what’s clicking for the 18-11 Astros:
Pitching, pitching and extra pitching
In going 7-0 in opposition to the Mariners and Tigers, the Astros threw 3 shutouts and held the opposition to 2 runs in every of the 4 different video games. Houston has allowed greater than 4 runs in a recreation most effective as soon as since April 25, going 11-2 in that reach.
The Astros allowed 37 hits, 8 runs (seven earned), 13 walks and struck out 54 batters in 63 innings within the seven-game profitable streak, posting a 1.00 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and .271 fighters’ batting reasonable. The starters posted a 1.05 ERA; the bullpen, 0.89.
“Pitching is the name of the game,” Baker stated. “Guys are going deep into games. Our bullpen wasn’t stretched out too badly these last seven games. I mean, that was the last of 17 in a row. We urged our guys to finish strong, not think about the off-day [Monday].”
The one hit the Tigers controlled used to be a two-out double by means of Jonathan Schoop in the second one inning, and Odorizzi pitched round back-to-back one-out walks within the fourth. Odorizzi is 3-0 with a zero.51 ERA and nil.57 WHIP in his ultimate 3 begins after permitting 9 earned runs in 9 innings in his first 3 begins.
“Today was a little more of a fight,” he stated. “I got a little squirrely there in the middle, third and fourth inning. But I think that’s the difference now, I was able to right it much quicker and make pitches when I needed to to get through those innings.”
Simply sufficient from the offense
The Astros haven’t precisely been crushing the ball all through their seven-game profitable streak, outscoring the opposition, 28-8. Houston slashed .225/.326/.431 with 11 homers all through the homestand, together with Díaz’s grand slam and a solo homer by means of Alex Bregman within the 5th Sunday.
The Astros pulled out 3 consecutive 3-2 wins over the Tigers, together with a walk-off win on Thursday, ahead of taking part in a five-run cushion Sunday. Houston has scored greater than 4 runs two times since April 29.
“I do know that guys are doing a good job of staying in the strike zone,” Bregman stated. “I think guys are swinging at strikes and taking balls and over time, the cream rises to the top. I think our offense will be very good.”
Díaz stated he used to be emotional rounding the bases on his 0.33 occupation grand slam, which got here on Mom’s Day.
“I just texted my mom and she’s very happy,” he stated. “I said I hit that one for her, and I’m proud of that.”
Astros moment baseman Jose Altuve got here off the injured listing Monday and began all seven video games, hitting .409/.519/.818 all through the profitable streak with 3 homers. Jeremy Peña, in spite of getting two days out of the lineup, hit .368 with two homers, and Yordan Alvarez homered two times.
The Astros will hit the street for a three-city street travel that starts Tuesday in Minneapolis in opposition to the Twins and Carlos Correa, who spent the ultimate seven years as a core participant in Houston. Justin Verlander (3-1, 1.93 ERA) gets the beginning, because the Astros selected to pitch Javier — who had began in his ultimate 3 outings — in aid for 3 innings on Sunday and stay the remainder of the rotation on 5 days of leisure.