HOUSTON — Yuli Gurriel delivered the walk-off hit that lifted the Houston Astros to victory on Thursday in their series opener with the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park.
The clutch at-bat came as no surprise considering Gurriel leads the American League in batting with runners in scoring position.
That George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez contributed to the ninth-inning rally was additionally good news for the Astros (58-31). Springer entered the series with a slash line of .100/.222/.157 since his last multi-hit game on June 10 and was 0-for-4 before muscling a game-tying single to center that scored Tony Kemp. Gonzalez [url=http://www.officialflyersproshop.com/authentic-adidas-travis-konecny-jersey]Travis Konecny Jersey[/url] , slashing .098/.193/.157 over his prior 15 games, emerged off the bench and delivered a pinch single that pushed Kemp to third.
“If you’ve been around our team at all the last couple days to weeks, to have George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez be a part of the celebration having contributed the way they did, that’s all they want to do is contribute to something positive,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
“Yuli should get as much praise as anybody to end the game, but really proud of George and Marwin to get in on the party.”
Right-hander Lance McCullers (9-3, 3.55 ERA) gets the start for the Astros on Friday. He is 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA over three career starts against the White Sox, including an outing on April 22 when he allowed one run on eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts over six innings in a 7-1 win. McCullers twirled seven scoreless innings at Tampa Bay in his previous start and went 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA over five starts last month.
White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (4-5, 3.68) is scheduled to make his 18th start of the season and second against the Astros. He is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA over his last four road starts. The White Sox are providing Lopez with just 3.95 runs of support [url=http://www.officialflyersproshop.com/authentic-adidas-valtteri-filppula-jersey]Valtteri Filppula Jersey[/url] , the 15th-lowest mark in the AL. In his lone career start against Houston, Lopez allowed one run over five innings but did not factor into the decision while working opposite of McCullers.
With the non-waiver trade deadline looming at the end of this month and the rebuilding White Sox (30-57) out of contention, attention has shifted to the potential veterans who might be shipped elsewhere before the calendar turns. First baseman Jose Abreu and right fielder Avisail Garcia are popular names bandied about the rumor mill while veteran reliever Joakim Soria has been mentioned as a target for contenders seeking bullpen help.
Soria suffered the loss in the series opener, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while recording just one out in the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss. The Astros, interestingly, have been reported to potentially have interest in Soria. As for the White Sox, they’re ignoring the noise.
“For us, it’s not something that’s been a topic of conversation,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “So we’re able to allow them to just continue to try to develop and try to improve and get better.”
On a day four more players went down [url=http://www.officialflyersproshop.com/authentic-adidas-wayne-simmonds-jersey]Wayne Simmonds Jersey[/url] , the Los Angeles Angels showed their depth and resiliency.
Ian Kinsler homered and drew a bases-loaded walk, Mike Trout had three hits and a sacrifice fly, and the injury-plagued Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 8-4 on Friday night to snap a four-game skid.
Tyler Skaggs (6-4) struck out eight over seven strong innings, allowing no earned runs and seven hits with one walk. He improved to 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA in June.
”Tyler was right on the money tonight. He had all his pitches working,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
The Angels placed four more players on the disabled list Friday, bringing their total to a franchise-record 15 on the DL at one time and leaving just 12 members of the opening day roster. The A’s in 2016 were the last club to have 15 players simultaneously on the DL.
It was a nice boost for Skaggs to get a big lead early and see his teammates come out strong despite all the injuries.
”It’s a testament to (GM) Billy Eppler. You look at our farm system a few years ago, we’d have never be able to do this,” Skaggs said. ”We’re still growing and a lot of guys stepped up tonight.”
Jose Briceno and Jose Miguel Fernandez had RBI singles in the third as Los Angeles bounced back with a big offensive night after having lost four straight following a six-game winning streak. The Angels avoided matching their longest losing streak of the season.
Skaggs didn’t allow a run until consecutive RBI doubles by Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien in the fifth.
But Oakland again didn’t score for starter Chris Bassitt (0-2), who was done after four innings after he allowed six runs – only two earned on a sloppy night of fielding for the home team – on seven hits.
Bassitt hurt his cause when he fielded Albert Pujols‘ first-inning grounder and threw high over first baseman Matt Olson’s head [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-thomas-vanek-jersey]Thomas Vanek Jersey[/url] , allowing two runs to score.
”The early part of the game was about as bad as we’ve played,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Oakland dropped its fourth straight game on the heels of a sweep by World Series champion Houston the previous three days.
Bassitt was brought back up from Triple-A Nashville for his fourth big league stint of 2018, this time to fill Trevor Cahill’s spot in the rotation.
The right-hander is 0-8 over his last 12 starts dating to Aug. 21, 2015.
He received no runs of support for a second straight outing – the seventh time in 25 career starts the A’s failed to score for him – and he has received two or fewer runs of support in 21 of his 25 starts.
Angels reliever Justin Anderson received a mound visit from Scioscia and a trainer after loading the bases with two outs in the ninth, and Scioscia said afterward one of the pitcher’s fingernails had cracked. Anderson then allowed a run on a wild pitch.
Angels: Going on the DL Friday for the Angels were INF Zack Cozart (partially dislocated left shoulder), RHP Jim Johnson (lower back strain), RHP Garrett Richards (strained left hamstring) and RHP Nick Tropeano (inflammation in his pitching shoulder). The Angels called up four righty pitchers from Triple-A Salt Lake: Eduardo Paredes, Akeel Morris, Felix Pena and Jake Jewell. … SS Andrelton Simmons (sprained right ankle) ran the bases for a second straight day and is making progress [url=http://www.thebengalsfootballauthentic.com/billy-price-jersey-authentic]Youth Billy Price Jersey[/url] , Scioscia said. Simmons was taking batting practice as well.
Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman is set to be placed on the DL on Saturday with a bruised right hand that also bothered him in spring. He may see a specialist. An MRI showed no structural damage, Melvin said. Chapman’s consecutive games streak ended at 149 games dating to last season. He and Olson were only players to appear in first 69 games, while Olson played in his 70th straight this season Friday.
Angels: LHP John Lamb will be called up from Triple-A to start Saturday, meaning the Angels must make another move by designating someone for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (5-6, 3.49) pitches for the A’s, having gone 1-4 with a 5.93 ERA over his last eight starts.
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