HOUSTON — Relieved the trade deadline passed and happy to know he stayed with the Astros, right-hander Jose Urquidy continued his dominance by striking out 10 batters and pitching seven scoreless innings in the 6-1 win. of Houston against the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
Urquidy (10-4), who threw 70 of 97 pitches for strikes, is 5-1 with a 2.29 ERA and 0.75 WHIP while throwing nine straight quality starts. He struck out 47 batters and walked just 12 in 59 innings during that streak, coinciding with giving up his cutter in mid-June.
Urquidy said the trade deadline was stressful, but that’s behind him.
“I’m calmer right now,” said Urquidy, who worked with receiver Christian Vázquez, acquired from Boston on Monday. “For days I was like, ‘Oh, what’s going to happen to me? Where am I going to be? Right now I feel more comfortable and I’m very grateful to be here on this team.
Here’s more from Wednesday’s game:
Altuve equals Biggio’s record
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve tied Hall of Fame Craig Biggio club record for four-game hits at age 34 by going 4-for-4 with a run scored and a double, increasing his average at bat from .272 to .280. He’s been hitting .315 since July 1.
“Every time my name is mentioned next to Craig Biggio, I feel honored and have a lot of respect for him,” Altuve said. “Obviously he’s a Hall of Famer and he’s had a really good career. I’m just happy.”
Altuve singled and scored in the first inning, doubled in the second, beat a hit in the fourth and singled to right in the sixth. He never had a chance to get a fifth at bat and was on deck when Mauricio Dubón lined up in left field to finish the eighth. Altuve has never had five hits in a game.
“I thought I had a chance today to go out there and try,” he said.
“Dubón got a good practice online, and I thought it would be a hit, but maybe another day.”
Mancini meets Crawford boxes
It didn’t take long for new Astro Trey Mancini to fall in love with the Crawford Boxes in left field. Mancini hit a 377-foot two-run homer to left field in the second, giving the Astros a 4-0 lead. It was his first success since acquiring Baltimore on Monday.
“It was really special,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and help win. That was the goal today. It was a really special moment, and I felt so welcome here, and it was a really fun game today.
According to Statcast, the home run would not have been a home run at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. It’s just 315 feet from the left field line in Houston, while the reconfigured Camden Yards are 333 feet from the left field line before expanding to 384 feet.
Mancini would have 22 home runs this season if he played all of his games at Minute Maid Park, 11 more than his actual total.
“I know I gave the wall over there [in Baltimore] a little bit of flak at times, but at the same time the center left and center there could be nicer than here,” Mancini said. “I hit him and I had a pretty good feeling from the start that he was going to come out. It was pretty good.
Tucker breaks out
Kyle Tucker tried changing batting gloves and background music, so why not drop a bunt? The Astros right fielder, who entered a 2-for-26 skid on Wednesday, had a hit in the second inning and then added a two-run double, going 2-for-4. He also flirted with a home run during from a long flyout in the third inning, and he lined up in a double play in the seventh on a ball with an exit speed of 105.5 mph.
“I’ve been thinking about it the last few days,” Tucker said of the bunt. “I just tried to move something. I thought I might as well bunt, and it worked out well. Trey had this big home run right behind me, and we put two extra runs on the board. worked out really well for us I picked up a few more good swings after that, and hopefully I can keep it that way.