Morton Blanks Jays, Fans 13, Wins 10th
Bregman, Reddick, Marisnick Pace Offense

Morton: All-Star worthy
(c) Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle
Charlie Morton tossed seven shutout innings and whiffed 13 Jays on Tuesday to become the Astros' first ten-game winner and maintain Houston's AL West lead at 3-1/2 games over Seattle. Morton allowed four Toronto hits and walked two. Chris Devenski and Hector Rondon polished off the 7-0 whitewash that was a tight game until the Astros posted five runs in the bottom of the eighth.

At the halfway point, the Astros are 53-28 and on pace for a 106-win season. They're actually one game behind the 2017 Astros at this juncture who coasted to a 101-win finish before winning their first World Championship.

When the rest of the squad is grooming their postseason facial hair in October, expect Alex Bregman to be clean-shaven. The third baseman broke out of a slump by shaving off his moustache in mid-game Saturday and went 4-for-5 Tuesday, including smashing his 13th homer and three doubles. Jake Marisnick joined the party with his sixth home run and three RBIs. Josh Reddick added three hits and Evan Gattis got the evening started with a two-run single that put him over the 50-RBI mark for the year.

Ryan Borucki, making his big league debut for the Jaybirds, tossed four shutout innings before Gattis' single and ended his night with six innings in the books on six hits and four walks. It was the bullpen duet of Preston Guilmet and Tim Mayza who were roughed up after the rookie's exit.

The 5-3 homestand comes to a close Wednesday with a Businessman's Special. Dallas "The Body" Keuchel (4-8) will battle Marco Estrada (4-7) in a 1:10 pm Central matinee before the Astros jet to St. Pete to open up a series against the Rays. Perhaps dropping trou will do for Dallas what shaving did for Bregman but I'd rather not think about that any further except to speculate if the P.R. department could have a novel gimmick in mind for their next bobblehead night.

- Bob Hulsey