Panhandle Post

What does a World Series contender look like? Ask the Rockies after falling at Houston 14-3

Published 2019-08-08T14:13:04.785Z

HOUSTON (AP) — With Houston's powerful offense, there always seem to be men on base when Yuli Gurriel comes to the plate in the bottom part of the Astros order.


On Wednesday, he found a way to send most of them home.


Gurriel drove in a team record-tying eight runs, Gerrit Cole won his 10th straight decision and the Astros routed the Colorado Rockies 14-3 for their sixth victory in a row.


"It's really incredible with this team, and I feel a big responsibility to drive runners in when they are on base," Gurriel said in Spanish through a translator. "To be in that spot, I'm always focused and concentrating to get those runners in."


A day after homering twice with three RBIs, Gurriel again teed off for the AL West leaders. He hit a three-run homer in the first inning, a sacrifice fly in the third, a three-run double in the fourth and an RBI grounder in the sixth to give him the most RBIs since he knocked in eight twice while playing in Cuba.


Gurriel tied Houston's RBI record set by J.R. Towles in 2007 against St. Louis. Gurriel, who leads the Astros with 80 RBIs, surpassed the seven RBIs he had last season against the Angels and tied the major league record for most RBIs by a player born in Cuba. It's his 11th game this season with at least three RBIs, and he joins Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell as the only Astros to have two games with at least seven runs knocked in.


"You get that feel every time he comes up that something positive is going to happen," manager AJ Hinch said. "He's locked in on pitch recognition and staying in on the at-bat. His production has been through the roof the last six weeks."


Cole (14-5) struck out 10 in six innings. Undefeated in his last 14 starts, he allowed three hits and two runs to make Houston's starters 16-1 in their last 19 starts.


This is the longest winning streak of Cole's career and is the best active streak in the majors. Cole, who hasn't lost since May 22, leads the majors with 226 strikeouts and his 2.87 ERA ranks third in the AL.


The Astros swept the four-game interleague season series from Colorado. Trevor Story hit his 26th homer and Nolan Arenado added his 25th for the Rockies, who lost for the fifth time in seven games.


The Astros jumped on Colorado starter Peter Lambert (2-3) for seven hits and a career-high nine runs in three-plus innings. Jose Altuve homered on Lambert's first pitch of the game.


Colorado manager Bud Black believes the nine walks his three young pitchers combined for were the biggest factor in the lopsided loss.


"Three rookie pitchers probably trying to do a little bit too much or be a little too fine," he said. "I think you saw a result of that in those nine walks. That's tough to do against this lineup, and it's tough to do in the big leagues. These guys are learning on the job, and they'll soon learn that walks will always come back to haunt you."


Story homered for the fourth time in five games, connecting in the first.


Altuve quickly tied it and Gurriel connected with two outs for his 23rd home run, including 18 since June 23. He has homered in five straight games against the Rockies dating to last year.


Cole had retired 10 straight, with seven strikeouts, when Arenado homered in the fourth. That hit gave Arenado 26 RBIs in interleague play this season, tied with Frank Thomas for most since interleague play began in 1997.


The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth on a single and two walks before Michael Brantley drove in a run with a single to chase Lambert. He was replaced by Jesus Tinoco, who walked Alex Bregman on four pitches to send another run home and make it 7-2.


He struck out Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa before Gurriel cleared the bases with double to left field to push the lead to 10-2.


Bregman had a two-run double in Houston's three-run seventh to extend the lead to 14-2.


AROUND THE MAJORS WEDNESDAY


Michael Conforto homered twice, Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil hit two-run shots and the surging New York Mets beat the Miami Marlins 7-2 to complete a four-game sweep. The Mets took another early lead and posted their sixth straight victory, winning for the 13th time in 14 games. New York has swept the last-place Marlins three times this season. Steven Matz won again at Citi Field, helping New York stay in the thick of the NL wild-card race.

Since sitting a season-high 11 games under .500 after a loss at Miami on July 12 after the All-Star Game, the 59-56 Mets have won at a torrid pace and own a league-best 19-6 record since the break.


Ozzie Albies homered twice in his second straight four-hit game, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman both went deep, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Minnesota Twins 11-7. Max Fried used a season-high 10 strikeouts to win his fourth consecutive start.


Gerardo Parra hit a three-run homer against his former team, Joe Ross pitched six shutout innings of three-hit ball and the Washington Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 4-1 win.


Zac Gallen threw five scoreless innings and helped himself with a run-scoring sacrifice bunt in his Arizona debut, leading the Diamondbacks to a 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Gallen (2-3) allowed just one hit with three walks and six strikeouts, lowering his earned run average to 2.40.


Russell Martin drove a two-run, two-out single up the middle in the ninth inning for the Dodgers' 10th walk-off win of the season, and Los Angeles swept the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2-1 victory. Marcell Ozuna homered in the sixth for the Cardinals, who went 0-5 on their California road trip after scoring just two runs in three games at Dodger Stadium.


Ian Happ hit his second career grand slam, José Quintana tossed two-hit ball through seven innings to win his sixth straight decision and the Chicago Cubs ripped the Oakland Athletics 10-1. Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer, Victor Caratini connected and Javier Báez kept up his latest hot streak with two hits and two RBIs as the Cubs responded with a rout of their own after Oakland pounded them 11-4 on Tuesday night.


Keston Hiura hit two home runs and drove in three runs, powering the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-3 win and three-game sweep of the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Junior Guerra picked up a second win in as many nights, allowing one hit and one walk in two innings of relief.


José Ramírez homered in both games, Cleveland's bullpen combined on a four-hitter in the second game and the Indians swept the Texas Rangers to complete a doubleheader sweep and gear up for a big, four-game series in Minnesota. The Indians open the series against the first-place Twins on Thursday trailing by two games in the AL Central.


Gio Urshela and Kyle Higashioka each hit two home runs, and the Yankees' long-ball outburst against the Baltimore Orioles reached historical proportions in a 14-2 blowout that extended New York's winning streak to eight games. Urshela had a pair of two-run drives, and Higashioka totaled five RBIs with his two shots. New York has a major league-record 52 homers against Baltimore this season.


Reliever Brock Stewart allowed two hits over four scoreless innings in his Toronto debut as the Blue Jays withstood a late Tampa Bay rally to beat the Rays 4-3 in a bullpen day. Blue Jays rookie Bo Bichette set a team record with a double in eight straight games, breaking the mark of seven set by Carlos Delgado in 2000. The 21-year-old Bichette also extended his career-opening hitting streak to 10 games.


Ivan Nova pitched eight scoreless innings, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 8-1. Nova allowed five hits, walked three and struck out one as he picked up his third win in four starts. Former Tiger James McCann had three RBIs, while Tim Anderson reached base five times and scored three runs. The White Sox took three of four games from the Tigers and went 5-2 on their trip to Philadelphia and Detroit.


Mallex Smith doubled leading off the eighth inning and scored when Daniel Vogelbach beat out a potential inning-ending double play, and the Seattle Mariners snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres.


The series finale between the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals was suspended by rain with the score tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th inning. The game will be picked up where it left off _ with a 2-1 count on Meibrys Viloria _ on a mutual off-day, Aug. 22, at 1:05 p.m.


THURSDAY SCHEDULE


Kansas City at Boston, comp. of susp. game, 11:05 A.m.

N.Y. Yankees at Toronto, 5:07 p.m.

Atlanta at Miami, 5:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 5:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Detroit, 5:10 p.m.

L.A. Angels at Boston, 5:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Minnesota, 6:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at San Francisco, 7:45 p.m.

Colorado at San Diego, 8:10 p.m.