Astros extends winning streak to 10 games

Astros extends winning streak to 10 games

MINNEAPOLIS — The runaway train, the Astros, rolled into the Target Center and rolled over the Twins en route to a three-game streak, including two wins Thursday afternoon, to take their winning streak to a season-high 10 games. It is the longest current streak in the major leagues.

The Astros had been getting great pitches for the past two weeks, but their offense started breaking out Thursday. Houston hit a season-high 15 hits and defeated the Twins 11-3 at the end of a game that was postponed after three innings on Wednesday before receiving two home runs from slugger Jordan Alvarez in a 5-0 win in the second game.

“That was outstanding. It’s hard to win an almost double game – a game and two-thirds – especially on the road, at her house,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Our guys are struggling a bit but we threw pretty well and got some very timely hits, especially from Jordan. We hope he gets hot as only he can. It feels good to start the road trip 3-0.”

By winning 14 of their last 16 games, the Astros have overtaken the Angels for the American League West lead. The pitching team has a 1.82 ERA in their last 16 games from 10 quality starts. That doesn’t include Luis Garcia, who threw five innings scoreless in Game 2 on Thursday.

Notably, the Astros have scored five shutouts during their 10-game streak, the first time since the end of the 1986 season (six times) that they have blinded an opponent five times in a 10-game streak. The staff ERA during the 10-game streak is 0.90, with nine earned runs allowed in 90 innings.

Not only will the Astros become dominant without the injured Lance McCullers Jr. — their best starter of the last year — they’ve also received unlikely contributions. They called up Triple-A Sugar Land assist Seth Martinez as the 27th player for Thursday’s second game, and all he did was throw 1 2/3 innings scoreless and beat the team in the sixth.

“Usually when you’re on a winning streak, you either hit a ton or throw a ton or both,” Baker said. “I can’t take anything away from our pitching. They hit great. … Everyone knows we pitch well and play really good baseball.”

Rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña leads the Astros with .448 averages and 10 RBIs during the winning streak, while Jose Altuve hits .333 despite going 5-0 in Thursday’s second game. The Astros haven’t lost since Altuve was taken off the injured list on May 2. He and Alvarez have both hit four homers in their last 10 games.

As a result, Houston has outplayed its opponent 49-11 during the winning streak, which is the longest since an 11-game streak last June. Houston’s streak was minus 4 before the streak; it’s now plus 34 for the season.

“We have a great ball club and we come every day to win and we did that,” said Peña, who scored three in Thursday’s second game before retiring in the fourth inning with left knee problems. “We put together good bats, our pitchers dominated and we’re going to keep it going.”

The choking Astros pitchers have recorded shutouts in three of their last four games.

On Sunday against the Tigers in Houston, Jake Odorizzi (five innings), Cristian Javier (three innings) and Héctor Neris (one inning) scored a one-hitter to end a four-game sweep. Justin Verlander carried a no-hitter into the eighth in Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins, who had just two hits in the first 17 innings of the series.

“They gave us a chance to win every single ball game,” Peña said. “They’ve dominated every single game, they keep their hitters from not doing a lot of damage and we’re just building on that.”

José Urquidy started Wednesday’s game, giving up a run in three innings before torrential rain forced the suspension. Four assists finished Thursday’s game and allowed a deserved run in six innings.

Garcia was great on Thursday, hitting a career-high nine batters for the second straight year. 2021 American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Garcia has a 1.50 ERA and a .94 WHIP in his last three starts, and hit 23 in 18 innings.

“We’re doing a really good job and we hope we can continue like this,” Garcia said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.