Houston edged the Chicago White Sox Sunday night to win two-of-three in their series. The Astros swatted Lucas Giolito and the ChiSox, 13-3, on Friday night with five home runs, including a grand slam by Michael Brantley. Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel (welcome back to the offense, fellows), Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez chipped in with long balls to make an easy winner of Framber Valdez.
Matijevic: Celebrates homer with Altuve
(c) Associated Press
Justin Verlander, current favorite for the AL Cy Young Award, had his earliest exit of the year as Chicago answered with a 7-0 beating of their own on Saturday. J.V. was hit for seven runs (four earned) on nine hits in just 3-2/3rd innings. Johnny Cueto spun seven innings of two-hits shutout ball for the Pale Hose.
Then, in Sunday's nationally-televised finale, the bench players built a 4-1 lead for Cristian Javier. Hector Neris, who may be in danger of losing his set-up job in the bullpen, allowed two runs in the eighth before Ryan Pressly slammed the door for a 4-3 triumph. J.J. Matijevic launched his first big league homer into the Crawfords in the fourth inning then third-string shortstop Mauricio Dubon plopped a two-run shot into the Crawfords the next frame to build the lead.
The pair were starting because Alvarez and utilityman Aledmys Diaz were both sitting out with minor injuries. Alvarez, according to reports, hurt a hand while swinging Saturday night and is listed as day-to-day. Diaz, the backup shortstop to injured Jeremy Pena, hurt his left shoulder in the same game. As of this writing, no roster move has been made for either. Pena is on the 10-day Injured List due to a sore thumb suffered while diving for a pop fly.
After a day off Monday, the homestand continues with a two-game series against our expansion twins, the New York Mets. The 45-24 Metropolitans are currently leading Atlanta in the NL East race. Jose Urquidy (5-3, 4.99 ERA) will battle Trevor Williams (1-3, 3.53) in Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. Central contest followed by Wednesday afternoon's 1.10 p.m. game where Luis Garcia (4-5, 3.41) challenges Carlos Carrasco (8-2, 3.96).
I don't know if the Astros will have a drag show Tuesday to commemorate Pride Night, as was done in Milwaukee, but Wednesday's series finale is "Stranger Things" Day which seems almost too appropriate.
These will be the first of nine games between the 41-25 Astros and Gotham's two big league clubs to close out the month. Following the Mets series, the Spacemen will fly to Yankee Stadium for four against the Brinks Bombers then stay in NYC for two more against the Mets. Next, the Astros will fly back to Houston for a single contest June 30th against the Yankees to make up for one of the games missed due to the lockout. The other two missed encounters with the Yanks will be made up July 21st as a day-night twinbill.
General Manager James Click may have some tough decisions in the coming days. Outfielders Jake Meyers (shoulder) and Taylor Jones (back) are rehabbing at AAA Sugar Land while pitchers Jake Odorizzi (left leg), Blake Taylor (elbow) and Parker Mushinski (elbow) will be eligible to return soon. Pena may also be ready to come back before the month is over.
- Bob Hulsey