Gurriel, Musgrove shine in 7-2 win
(c) Associated Press
The Astros played two games in New York Sunday and took a red-eye flight that arrived in Miami in the wee hours on Monday morning. The fatigue was obvious for the first few innings but, as has been the case for most of the 2017 season, the 'Stros bats came to life in the late innings and had their way with the opposition's bullpen. Dan Straily held his former team hitless through the first four innings but shortly thereafter the flood gates opened.
Evan Gattis led off the fifth with a rocket right back at Straily. The ball made solid contact with the pitching arm of the Marlins' hurler just above the elbow. Straily was able to pick the ball up and throw Gattis out at first base to keep the no-hitter intact. After a visit from the team doctor, Straily stayed in the game and was able to complete the inning. In the bottom of the frame Straily successfully executed a sacrifice bunt, helping the Marlins to take a 1-0 lead before exiting with five innings of 1-hit shutout baseball and an extremely sore right arm.
Junichi Tazawa came on to pitch the sixth for Don Mattingly's team and that's when the fun began. Josh Reddick stroked a one-out double and Jose Altuve flew out to deep rightfield for the second out. Tazawa proceeded to walk Carlos Correa and hit Gattis with a pitch, loading the bases for Yulieski Gurriel. Yuli hit a line drive home run into the leftfield seats and, suddenly, the Astros had staked Joe Musgrove to a 4-1 lead.
Brad Ziegler came in to pitch the seventh for Miami and the hits just kept on coming. An Altuve single through the left side plated a pair of runs to extend Houston's lead to 6-1.
Justin Bour's solo homer off Luke Gregerson in the eighth trimmed the lead to 6-2 and that was as close as the Fish would get.
Altuve took Dustin McGowan deep over the seafood-themed monstrosity in left-center for an insurance run in the ninth and Brad Peacock got the final three outs to secure a 7-2 win for the Astros. At 27-12 Houston has climbed 15 games over the .500 mark for the first time since the World Series season of 2005.
Dallas Keuchel takes his 6-0 record to the Marlins Park mound Tuesday night. Miami counters with Tom Koehler in the second game of a three-game series slated for 6:10 CDT.
- Greg Thurston