Altuve, Urquidy lead Astros to 9-1 victory over Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jose Altuve and José Urquidy weren’t fazed at all by the triple digit heat at Angel Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Altuve had three hits and drove in three runs and Urquidy pitched four-hit ball over seven innings as the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-1.
“It was a real good win. We jumped them early and then were able to add on,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
With a first-pitch temperature of 102 degrees (39 Celsius), the only one who didn’t seem to be sweltering was Urquidy, who is used to the heat from growing up in Mazatlán, Mexico.
Urquidy struck out eight, and at one point retired 12 straight Angels hitters as he improved to 13-5.
“Yesterday I was drinking a lot of water. I know today was very hot,” Urqidy said. “I felt very good. When I was warming up I was focused on the location and the corners.”
Urquidy is 8-2 since June 21, which is tied with teammate Justin Verlander and Chicago’s Dylan Cease for most wins in the AL during that span. Opponents are batting .172 against Urquidy over his last 13 starts, which is second-lowest in the league.
Altuve, who chased Angels’ starter Tucker Davidson (2-5) with a two-run homer to left field for his 23rd of the season, said having a pitcher like Urquidy was beneficial on a hot day.
“He’s perfect for that type of day. He works fast and throws a lot of strikes,” Altuve said. “He threw a good game. I’m so happy for him.”
Altuve — who went 6 for 13 in the series — also had an RBI double during a five-run second inning.
Kyle Tucker also went deep for the Astros, who have won five of their last six.
Mike Trout helped the Angels avert a shutout with his 29th home run, a solo shot to center in the eighth inning off Astros’ reliever Brandon Bielak.
Reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani was given the day off by Angels interim manager Phil Nevin. The Japanese two-way phenom allowed only one run in eight innings during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Astros in 12 innings, but had gone 2 for 12 at the plate in his last three games.
Houston took control with a five-run second inning. After Trey Mancini drew a walk to lead off the second, Tucker drove an inside hanging curveball into the right-field stands to put the Astros up 2-0.
Houston’s other runs in the inning came on David Hensley’s two-run double and Altuve’s RBI double.
Davidson, who got the start for Atlanta in Game 5 of the World Series last year, continued to struggle against the Astros. The left-hander allowed four runs in two innings last fall before he gave up seven runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings Sunday. Davidson struck out four in his fifth start for the Angels since being acquired at the deadline.
Coincidentally, Urquidy also got the win last October. He tossed an inning of scoreless relief in the Astros’ 9-5 victory.
“The second just got away from him, but he gathered himself and got on a nice little run there from the third until the seventh,” Nevin said. “That was big for us with no day off tomorrow, so we were able to save a lot of the bullpen which was good for us.”
The first pitch temperature of 102 degrees at Angel Stadium was the sixth-highest since the ballpark opened in 1966.
The highest temperature in Angels history was 109 degrees (43 Celsius) on Sept. 5, 2020, for the first game of a doubleheader against the Astros.
Astros: C Martín Maldonado was scratched from the lineup due to illness. … 1B Alex Bregman received a rare day off. … Yordan Alvarez returned to the lineup after missing the past five games due to a sore hand. He had a two-run single in the ninth.
Angels: RHP Michael Lorenzen (right shoulder strain) will come off the 60-day injured list before he takes the mound on Friday in Houston. Lorenzen’s last big league start was on July 1.
Astros: Return home Monday to begin a three-game series against Texas. Top prospect RHP Hunter Brown makes his big league debut after he led the Pacific Coast League in ERA (2.55) and strikeouts (134).
Angels: Host Detroit for three games beginning Monday. LHP José Suarez (5-6, 4.10 ERA) is 4-2 with 32 strikeouts in his last six starts.
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