Michael Brantley, Jose Altuve and Abraham Toro belted home runs as the Houston Astros continued their power surge with a 10-2 victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
Houston earned its fourth win in a row, having averaged 9.5 runs per game in that span. The Astros have won 13 of their past 17 games. Chicago took just its second loss in eight games.
One night after smacking a season-high six homers against the Texas Rangers, the Astros wasted little time flexing their might against the White Sox, who entered the four-game series with the best record and run differential in the American League. Brantley ignited the barrage with his fourth home run, a three-run, first-inning shot to right field off White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease (5-3).
Cease fell into a 3-0 hole before recording his first out, allowing a leadoff single to Altuve before Chas McCormick reached when White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada made an errant toss attempting to erase Altuve at second base. Brantley followed by drilling a 1-0 fastball 375 feet.
Cease settled down and retired nine consecutive batters before coming undone in the fourth inning, when he allowed the first four batters to reach base safely. Carlos Correa roped an RBI double to right-center that scored Yuli Gurriel for a 4-0 lead before Toro smoked a two-run single.
Two batters later, Cease departed after walking nine-hole hitter Jason Casto. He allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 3 1/3 innings.
Altuve, who finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, bashed his club-leading 16th home run to left-center with one out in the sixth off White Sox reliever Matt Foster. Toro added his first homer in the seventh, a two-run shot off Foster.
Astros right-hander Jose Urquidy (5-3) cruised through his first five innings, facing just one batter over the minimum. He labored in the sixth, however, surrendering three hits and issuing a walk. Adam Engel and Jose Abreu notched run-scoring singles, but Urquidy survived the onslaught by inducing a flyout from Yermin Mercedes to end the rally.
Urquidy retired the side in order in the seventh to complete his outing, having allowed two runs on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
--Field Level Media