The Houston Astros would like to request a scheduling change from Major League Baseball: They’d like to stay in Atlanta a while longer. And after their offense exploded for 26 runs in two games at the newly-opened SunTrust Park, who can blame them?
Brad Peacock and the Astros rolled into Georgia on Independence Day for a quick two-game interleague set against the Atlanta Braves. The bats wasted little time in acquainting themselves with their new environs – the ‘Stros scored once in the second inning, before piling on four in the third, two in the fourth, and three in the fifth.
The early ten-run lead afforded plenty of breathing room for starter Brad Peacock. The 29-year-old righty pitched six-plus solid innings of three-run ball, striking out seven to move to 6-1 on the season. George Springer paced the offense with four hits, including his 25th home run. Jose Altuve, Josh Reddick, Yuli Gurriel, and Alex Bregman all chipped in with three hits a piece; Reddick’s grand slam in the ninth inning allowed Houston to win by a final score of 16-4.
On Wednesday, the offense picked up right where it left off, leading Houston to an easy 10-4 win. Springer was in the thick of things once again, clubbing three more hits and adding a pair of runs batted in. His season batting average now sits at an even .300. Four other Astros – Altuve, Reddick, Carlos Correa, and Marwin Gonzalez – also sit at or north of .300. Yuli Gurriel, meanwhile, is hitting .299. Make no mistake: These fellows can swing it.
The Astros are heading north of the border for their last set before the All-Star Break. Houston starts a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at six o’clock CDT. Lance McCullers Jr gets the ball in game one – it will be his final tune-up before traveling to Miami for the midsummer classic next Tuesday.
Looks like the Astros offense has found their lucky number. In each of their last three contests (all victories), the ‘Stros have pounded a staggering seven doubles. They’ll look to keep the magic alive tonight in Toronto, where their potent offense will square off against struggling lefty Francisco Liriano.
First-Round Pick In The Fold
Last month, the Astros selected impressive college righty JB Bukauskas with the 15th pick of the MLB Draft. Today, Bukauskas signed his professional contract and officially began his professional career. Keep an eye on the six-foot righty – he possesses a devastating slider, and could move quickly through the minor leagues.
The Astros had a scare when All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa jammed his left thumb sliding into home plate during Tuesday’s contest in Atlanta. Luckily for the ‘Stros, Correa’s X-rays came back negative, and he’s only expected to miss a few games.