Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman slugged homers, and the Houston Astros moved a win away from a season sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 12-6 victory on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
Gurriel and Bregman both homered off White Sox right-hander James Shields, who allowed season-high totals in hits (10) and earned runs (eight) while laboring through 5 2/3 innings.
With the White Sox trailing 1-0, Shields surrendered consecutive singles to George Springer and Bregman leading off the third inning. Two batters after Bregman recorded the first of his three hits, Gurriel golfed his sixth home run into the Crawford Boxes in left for a 4-0 lead.
Bregman chased Shields with a two-run blast in the sixth for his 17th home run, two shy of his career high set last season. He drilled a 2-0 fastball to left field, reclaiming momentum for the Astros after Chicago sliced what was a five-run deficit to 6-5 with a four-run sixth.
Bregman finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs. He led a parade of six Astros with multi-hit games, including Gurriel (2-for-4, four RBIs), and Evan Gattis (2-for-4, RBI, walk).
Catcher Max Stassi, whose RBI double in the second put the Astros on the board, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Touted prospect Kyle Tucker finished 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in his big-league debut.
Shields (3-10) has now recorded double-digit losses in a season seven times in his career. He had nine strikeouts against two walks while posting a balk and throwing 99 pitches.
Astros right-hander Charlie Morton (11-2) was in cruise control before things went south in a hurry in the sixth. Even when he surrendered a run in the fourth inning, Morton didn’t bat an eye, limiting the damage to one despite the White Sox placing two runners in scoring position with no outs. But when things started to unravel in the sixth, Morton sorely needed relief help.
After Chicago first baseman Matt Davidson cut the deficit to 6-2 with an opposite-field single to right, catcher Omar Narvaez delivered a bases-clearing, two-out double to left field on a 3-2 pitch. Will Harris entered in relief and fanned Tim Anderson with Narvaez representing the tying run at third base after a wild pitch. The Astros followed with six runs over their ensuing three innings.
—Field Level Media