HOUSTON — The Houston Astros salvaged a split of their six-game road trip with a victory at Texas on Wednesday http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-phil-haynes-jersey , setting the stage for what could be the most critical stretch of their schedule.
Houston returns to Minute Maid Park on Thursday to host the opener of a four-game series with the Chicago White Sox and an 11-game homestand that will carry the Astros (57-31) into the All-Star break.
Following their team record-tying 12-game winning streak last month, the Astros have gone a pedestrian 8-6. They have been unable to shake the Seattle Mariners (55-32) in the chase for the American League West pennant and remain behind the Boston Red Sox (59-29) and New York Yankees (56-28) in pursuit of the best record in the majors.
The Astros could gain significant ground in the standings with a dominating homestand facing two teams below .500, the White Sox and Detroit Tigers (38-50), sandwiched around a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics, against whom Houston is 8-1 this season.
Houston rallied from a four-run deficit to complete the sweep of its two-game set with the Rangers with a 5-4 win. The bullpen was vital, with right-handers Will Harris, Collin McHugh and Ken Giles combining for five innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits and zero walks.
“I think our bullpen did exactly what we needed,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
The Astros have performed inconsistently since their winning streak, with injuries (shortstop Carlos Correa) and slumps (outfielder George Springer and super utility Marwin Gonzalez) yielding uneven play. Rectifying matters at home against inferior competition might cure ills.
Right-hander Justin Verlander (9-4, 2.12 ERA) will open the homestand for the Astros. Verlander has suffered consecutive losses, allowing nine runs on 16 hits and three walks with 14 strikeouts over 11 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays during the final week of June.
Verlander has surrendered at least three runs in four of five starts after doing so only once over his first 13 starts. He is 21-13 with a 3.74 ERA over 43 career starts against Chicago.
The White Sox will counter with left-hander Carlos Rodon (1-3, 4.55 ERA), who will make his sixth start of the season. Rodon made his season debut on June 9 at Boston and allowed a season-high five runs in his last outing, surrendering six hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings in a 13-4 loss at Texas.
Rodon is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA over four career starts against the Astros.
With their 7-4 loss in Cincinnati to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday Ugo Amadi Jersey , the White Sox (30-56) will conclude their stretch of 13 games in 13 days with the four-game series against the Astros. Chicago entered the series finale at Cincinnati with its starters providing the fewest innings in the AL; right-handed starter Dylan Covey continued that trend by working only 3 2/3 innings.
Combine that strenuous bullpen workload with the lack of off-days, and the White Sox will look to Rodon to not only provide a quality start on Thursday but a lengthy one as well.
The stat caught Chris Iannetta by complete surprise: This was only the 10th 1-0 game ever at Coors Field.
”Come on,” the catcher said.
He can thank his dominant starter for the latest addition. He played a pretty big role, too.
Iannetta homered in the seventh, Tyler Anderson pitched eight stellar innings in outdueling Andrew Suarez and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night to sweep a three-game series.
It was the first 1-0 game at Coors Field since June 12, 2010.
Anderson (6-3) scattered two hits and tied a season high with nine strikeouts. The left-hander didn’t allow a baserunner to reach second base.
”Tyler pitched great,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.
For that, Anderson credits a slight tweak in game plans, going with more cutters than changeups.
”It was helpful because I’ve faced those guys a lot,” Anderson said. ”If they want to sit on a changeup, it kind of helps to have something to equalize that.”
And of course, Anderson wanted the ball for the ninth.
”You always want to go out and finish it,” Anderson said. ”At the same time, Wade Davis is an unbelievable pitcher.”
Davis surrendered a two-out single to Andrew McCutchen and walked Buster Posey in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Brandon Crawford hit a deep foul ball before later flying out as Davis earned his 25th save.
Suarez (3-5) pretty much matched Anderson pitch for pitch in going seven innings and scattering five hits.
”A pitcher’s duel is always fun,” Suarez said. ”I enjoyed it Dwayne Haskins Jersey , just that last inning I missed that one pitch.”
Suarez elevated a slider on a full count to Iannetta, who took a few steps down the line to make sure his hooking liner remained fair.
It did. The umpiring crew took a look and confirmed Iannetta’s seventh homer of the season.
Kelby Tomlinson and Brandon Belt both singled to account for the only Giants hits off Anderson. Over the three-game series, San Francisco mustered just three runs and hit a combined .152.
”It’s a tough one, the whole series,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ”We’ve got to rebound here, get the bats going.”
This was another strong outing for Anderson, who allowed four hits and no runs over eight innings in Los Angeles against the Dodgers last Friday.
He found a way to top it.
”He was good both times. He had command of four pitches,” Iannetta said. ”He was using all four quadrants of the zone. That’s really a difference maker. When you can command pitches, it makes it tough for hitters to get in a groove.”
Colorado had something brewing in the third, when DJ LeMahieu lined a one-out double to right. Charlie Blackmon followed with a sharp single off the glove of Joe Panik, who hustled after the baseball as LeMahieu took a wide turn. LeMahieu held at third and Suarez got the next two outs to escape the jam.
Rockies: RHP Bryan Shaw (strained calf) threw 25 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday. Black said the reliever will throw Friday and Sunday for Triple-A Albuquerque. ”From there, we’ll make an assessment of where Bryan is,” Black said. ”But Bryan right now feels good, his arm feels great.”
Nolan Arenado leads the NL with 22 homers this season. And to think, he thought he might not even hit one out this season.
No David Long Jersey , seriously.
”The first month-and-a-half, felt like I wasn’t going to hit any homers this year,” Arenado said. ”Now I have 22. You have to ride the wave.”
THIS & THAT
Tomlinson was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and started at third base. … Colorado snapped a four-game skid on the Fourth of July. … Of Colorado’s three 1-0 wins on solo homers, Iannetta has the last two, according to the team. He also accomplished the feat on July 18, 2010, at Cincinnati. … The game lasted just 2 hours, 15 minutes – the shortest at Coors Field this season.
Giants: Begin a four-game series against St. Louis on Thursday, with Johnny Cueto (3-0, 0.84 ERA) expected to return to the mound. Cueto was placed on the disabled list May 1 – retroactive to April 29 – with inflammation in his right elbow. A few days later he visited Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed him with a strained elbow.
Rockies: Off Thursday before playing a three-game series in Seattle. RHP German Marquez (6-8, 5.14) will throw for the Rockies on Friday, while the Mariners go with RHP Felix Hernandez (8-6, 5.11).