Astros 2, Padres 0
J.A. Happ and the Houston bullpen ended a long road losing
streak for the Astros.
Happ and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, Scott Moore
drove in two runs and Houston beat the San Diego Padres 2-0 Monday
night to snap a 13-game slide away from home.
Jose Altuve doubled and scored twice to help Houston stop its
longest road skid since dropping 14 straight in 1997.
”Everybody has been talking about what’s been going on on the
road and so forth, but we just needed to play good baseball, and we
did tonight,” Astros manager Brad Mills said.
Happ (7-9) allowed a double in the first to Alexi Amarista but
retired his next 12 batters. The left-hander gave up four hits over
6 1-3 innings while striking out four and walking one.
”I was trying to work quick and get ahead of those guys,” Happ
said. ”I just wanted to keep the ball down in the zone, and for
the most part we were able to do that. I felt like I was definitely
hitting the corners pretty good tonight.”
Jesus Guzman hit a one-out double off the left-center wall in
the seventh and Logan Forsythe drew a walk to chase Happ, who threw
86 pitches in the opener of a four-game series.
Mills acknowledged it was a difficult decision to pull Happ.
”It was very tough,” the manager said. ”Sure enough, he
didn’t want to come out of the game, but pitchers never want to
come out. His command, to me, seemed to be going at that time. I
didn’t want him to get behind the next hitter and have to lay a
ball in there. That was the situation.”
Fernando Rodriguez walked Cameron Maybin to load the bases, but
Rodriguez struck out Everth Cabrera and induced a fly ball from
pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso to end the threat.
”We did enough tonight to win,” Happ said. ”We made some
great defensive plays, too. That helped.”
Wilton Lopez allowed a one-out single in the eighth to Amarista,
who stole second. Lopez, however, retired Chase Headley and Yasmani
Grandal on groundouts.
Brett Myers worked around a two-out infield single by Cameron
Maybin in the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.
”(Happ) did a good job of coming right at us,” Padres third
baseman Chase Headley said. ”He was throwing strikes right from
the start. I felt like we were playing defense for three quarters
of the game, like we weren’t on offense at all. He did a really
San Diego went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and was
shut out for the ninth time this season and fifth time at home.
Houston (34-56), which has the fewest wins in the majors, recorded
its fifth shutout.
Padres starter Kip Wells (1-3) yielded two runs and three hits
in 4 1-3 innings. Wells, facing Houston for the second time in four
starts this season, walked five and hit two batters with pitches
while striking out two.
”I just didn’t throw enough fastballs to find a rhythm for
them,” Wells said. ”I felt, in looking back, I should’ve worked
off my fastball more than I did.”
Altuve’s double to center in the first sailed past Maybin, who
took a few steps in before turning and chasing the ball to the
”I think the ball was hit harder than he thought,” Padres
manager Bud Black said.
Altuve also walked in the third and stole second. Both times he
scored on a sacrifice fly by Moore.
”Jose is obviously doing the job in front of me,” Moore said.
”Fortunately, I was in the situation with less than two outs and a
runner on third. It was a good win for J.A. and a good win for us.
J.A. pounded the strike zone and really went after those guys and
didn’t give them room to breathe. He did a really good job.”
NOTES: San Diego outfielder Carlos Quentin was scratched from
the starting lineup due to a knee injury. He is unlikely to play on
Tuesday. … Amarista started in left field in place of Quentin.
… Altuve was hit in the hand by a pitch from Wells in the fifth
but stayed in the game and is not expected to miss any time.