Astros complete doubleheader sweep of Mets
HOUSTON — Presented the stage to perform before a supportive fan base seeking an emotional respite following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, the Astros were instead the group energized by a vocal throng that showed up and displayed their admiration.
Josh Reddick and Marwin Gonzalez recorded run-scoring singles in succession to fuel a four-run, sixth-inning rally in the Houston Astros’ 4-1 interleague victory over the New York Mets on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park to cap a doubleheader sweep.
Reddick and Gonzalez plated Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve, respectively, after Bregman reached via a leadoff single off Mets right-hander Seth Lugo (5-4) before Altuve added a walk.
Brian McCann (run-scoring groundout) and J.D. Davis (sacrifice fly) parlayed productive outs against Mets reliever Hansel Robles to extend the lead and set the stage for the series win.
“We came today with a lot of energy, we all did,” said Gonzalez, who finished the doubleheader 4-for-9 with three RBIs. “I found a lot of runners on base, everybody did a good job. I think that everybody put a little extra in today. We wanted to give the fans those wins with everything that’s happening in the city. So, I think everyone played super hard today.”
In the opener, George Springer clubbed his career-best 30th home run and was one of six starters to record multi-hit games in the Astros’ 12-8 victory.
Springer finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Altuve (3-for-4, three runs) and Reddick (3-for-5, two RBIs) added three-hit games for the Astros, who played their first game at Minute Maid Park since Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Gulf Coast last weekend.
Right-hander Charlie Morton (11-6) allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over five innings for the Astros in the first game. Mets right-hander Matt Harvey (4-4) took the loss in his first start since June 14 following a 10-week stint on the disabled list.
In the nightcap, right-hander Brad Peacock carried a shutout into the sixth for the Astros (82-53) before Mets center fielder Juan Lagares opened that frame with a triple to center field. Lagares eventually scored on a run-scoring double by Dominic Smith, but the Mets (58-77) fumbled away an opportunity to post a crooked number after loading the bases with two outs.
Astros right-hander Joe Musgrove (7-8) fell behind in the count 3-0 to Mets second baseman Gavin Cecchini but rallied to induce an inning-ending pop up. Musgrove followed that escape act by producing scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, working around two hits.
“I feel really good right now,” Musgrove said. “I’m not trying to do too much right now. I’m just trying to do my job in the situations I’m put in and hopefully I’m earning the trust of the staff here to put me in the big situations. Those are the reasons you play, to get put in those big spots. So just trying to build on each outing and keep trying to establish that role in the bullpen.”
Lugo appeared to get the better of Peacock in their scoreless duel early on, stranding runners in scoring position in the first, second and fourth innings before things unraveled in the sixth.
He induced Reddick to slap into an inning-ending double play in the first before striking out Derek Fisher with Gonzalez at third to close the second and preserve the scoreless tie.
“Felt like all game I was making pitches on both sides of the plate,” said Lugo, who allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts over five-plus innings. “Wasn’t leaving many pitches over the middle. Executing pitches down and keeping them off balance.”
After Reddick led off the fourth with a double to right, Lugo rallied to retire five consecutive batters. When he returned to the bump in the sixth, his teammates had spotted him a 1-0 lead.
NOTES: Astros SS Carlos Correa will be reinstated from the disabled list Sunday and will bat fourth. Correa underwent a series of tests Saturday to complete his rehab. Including the doubleheader, he missed 42 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb. ... The Mets signed OF Norichika Aoki and he joined the club in Houston. Aoki, traded by the Astros to Toronto at the non-waiver deadline and released by the Blue Jays on Aug. 29, started the second game of the doubleheader and finished 1-for-5. ... The Mets recalled RHP Jacob Rhame from Triple-A Las Vegas and selected the contract of RHP Jamie Callahan from Las Vegas. Rhame made his major league debut in the fifth inning of the opener while Callahan entered in relief in the seventh.