July 7, 2019 / 2:25 AM / 14 days ago

Cole, Astros shut out Angels

Jul 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) smiles before a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Gerrit Cole continued his run of exceptional pitching and the Houston Astros squared their three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels with a 4-0 win Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Cole (9-5), the American League Pitcher of the Month for June, twirled seven shutout innings at the Angels to open July in similar fashion. He surrendered three hits and two walks while recording nine strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 1.76 over his last eight starts dating to May 27.

During that stretch, Cole has allowed 10 earned runs on 35 hits and 13 walks with 70 strikeouts over 51 innings while improving to 5-0. Against the Angels, he allowed just one extra-base hit and retired the side in order in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. He worked around a pair of baserunners in the first inning by inducing a groundout from Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons and coerced a double-play ground ball from Mike Trout to erase a leadoff single by David Fletcher in the third.

When Cole struck out Shohei Ohtani to cap the third, it marked the first of five consecutive innings that he closed with a strikeout. He threw 110 pitches, 70 for strikes, and averaged 98.1 miles per hour on 61 four-seam fastballs. He recorded 12 called and swinging streaks each on the heater.

The Astros didn’t break through against Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney (1-3) until the fourth inning when Josh Reddick flipped a two-out single into right field that scored Alex Bregman. With two outs in the fifth, Bregman played a role in the Astros scoring again with an RBI double off the scoreboard in left field plating George Springer with two outs for a 2-0 lead.

Heaney allowed two runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts over five innings.

Bregman walked and scored with two outs in the seventh, scoring from first base when Yordan Alvarez doubled off the top of the wall in right. He finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

Yuli Gurriel extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff home run in the sixth, his 13th on the season, fifth in four games and eighth during his streak.

—Field Level Media

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