Astros beat Yanks again, Bregman's 2-run double keys 2-1 win
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) Alex Bregman hit a two-run double early and the Houston Astros held on for a 2-1 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
Thursday's game completes a stretch for the Astros of nine straight games against New York teams. Houston went 3-2 against the major league-leading Yankees and swept four games with the Mets, who had baseball's second best record before being overtaken by the Astros.
The Yankees were in town for just one game to make up part of a series that was scrapped because of the lockout. They'll complete the series with a doubleheader here July 21.
Houston starter Luis Garcia (6-5) allowed three hits and one run with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for his third straight win. Ryan Pressly struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his 17th save.
Jake Meyers doubled with no outs in the third before Aledmys Diaz walked with two outs. Kyle Tucker walked to load the bases before Bregman's double to put Houston up 2-0.
The Astros had a chance to pad the lead, but the inning ended on an odd play after a malfunction of New York starter Luis Severino's PitchCom device.
With Yuli Gurriel at-bat, a frustrated Severino took off his cap and held the PitchCom speaker to his ear, apparently unable to hear instructions from catcher Jose Trevino.
Tucker saw Severino was distracted from third base and tried to sneak home. Severino had the PitchCom earpiece in his right hand and had to quickly maneuver to get the baseball back in his throwing hand. He threw home while still holding his cap, and his throw narrowly beat Tucker and ended the inning.
The PitchCom digital pitch-calling devices, which transmit signals from the catcher to the pitcher, were introduced to the majors this season. The system was designed to halt sign stealing in the wake of the Astros' 2017 scandal.
Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer for the Yankees in the sixth inning, but they had trouble generating much else on offense as they had a four-game winning streak snapped.
The Yankees were held to one run or fewer in all three losses to Houston over the past week, including Saturday's combined no-hitter by Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Pressly.
Severino (4-3) yielded three hits and two runs in six innings.
The Astros were without slugger Yordan Alvarez and shortstop Jeremy Pena after the two were involved in a nasty outfield collision Wednesday in a win over the Mets. Manager Dusty Baker said both were continuing testing for concussions, and he wasn't sure how long they'd be sidelined.
Garcia had retired seven of the last eight batters he'd faced with three consecutive strikeouts when Rizzo knocked his 21st home run into right field to cut the lead to 2-1 and chase Garcia with one out in the sixth. Ryne Stanek took over, and Giancarlo Stanton greeted him with a single before Gleyber Torres walked with two outs in the inning.
Stanek retired Jose Trevino for the third out to extend his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 20.
Yankees: LHP Aroldis Chapman (left Achilles tendinitis) will be activated from the injured list Friday. Manager Aaron Boone said that Chapman, who hasn't pitched in the majors since May 22, could be used several ways, not just as the closer. "We'll pick spots and try to get him in spots where he can be successful," Boone said. "That could be anywhere from a high-leverage situation to a mid-leverage to a low-leverage."
Astros: Bench coach Joe Espada, first base coach Omar Lopez and quality control coach Dan Firova all missed Thursday's game because of health and safety protocols. Wladimir Sutil, who is Triple-A Sugar Land's development coach, joined the team to coach first base.
Yankees: New York's Gerrit Cole (6-2, 2.99 ERA) faces Cleveland's Aaron Civale (2-4, 7.20) in the opener of a three-game series between the Yankees and Guardians on Friday night.
Astros: Javier (5-3, 2.73) opposes Los Angeles RHP Michael Lorenzen (6-5, 4.24) when the Astros and Angels open a three-game series Friday night. It's the first start for Javier since striking out a career-high 13 in seven innings of the combined no-hitter.
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Updated June 30, 2022