The Astros took the Cardinals to the woodshed in a 14-0 win to improve to 44-37. Houston is five games back of West Balch Springs. After losing five straight games, the Astros are 5-3 in their last eight games.
*Astros' record after 81 games:
*Houston carried over Framber, Urquidy, Luis Garcia, and Javier from the 2022 rotation. Combined they threw 671.2IP out of the 950IP thrown by Astros starters (70.7%). This year those four have combined to throw 246.2IP out of the 460.1IP thrown by Astros starters (53.4%).
*The Astros won their first game after scoring 10+ runs of the season.
*The last time the Astros scored 10+ runs in consecutive games was September 20-21, 2021 against Anaheim.
*Houston scored the last 19 runs of the series against the Cardinals.
*It was the Astros' 5th shutout of the season.
*Houston had 26 batters reach base (18 hits + 8 walks) - the most since August 18, 2022 when the Astros got 25 hits and four walks against the White Sox.
*Let's start with J.P. France. France threw 7IP, 4H/0ER, 2K:2BB. You have to go back to his MLB debut on May 6 to find the last time he threw a shutout appearance. France's last five starts: 5 Quality Starts, 33.1IP, 26H/9ER, 18K:12BB, 2.43 ERA/1.14 WHIP.
*Rafael Montero threw 2IP, 0H/0ER, 1K:0BB - his first clean outing since June 8, and his first 2+ IP clean outing since May 19, 2021.
*Alex Bregman was 3x5 with 0K:1BB, and a grand slam - his 3rd grand slam in June (three of his last five homers have been grannies.) Bregman since May 8 (46 games): .290/.364/.475, 27K:21BB, 8HR/38RBI. He's hitting over .250 for the first time since June 5. It was his third 4RBI game of the season, and all have been since June 3.
Grand Slams, Astros history:
1. Jose Altuve, Carlos Lee, Alex Bregman: 7
2. Jeff Bagwell: 6
3. Yuli Gurriel, George Springer, Lance Berkman: 5
4. Yordan Alvarez, Craig Biggio, Kevin Bass: 4
I think the last couple of days we've been putting good at-bats together, stringing them together all day long. I think the last few days have been really good and let's keep it rolling.
*Kyle Tucker was 2x3 with 1K:1BB, HR/5RBI. He has a six-game hitting streak and is 6x8 with two doubles, a homer, and 6RBI in the last two games. It's the second 5+ RBI game of his career, his most in a single game since May 17, 2022 (6RBI vs Boston).
Kyle Tucker was efficiently selective last night.
*Jose Abreu was 1x3 with a double, walk and 2RBI. In his last five games, Abreu is 8x20 with four extra-base hits (two doubles, two homers), 2K:1BB.
*Yainer Diaz was 3x6 with two doubles - his 3rd 3+ hit game in June. Diaz, May 30-June 29: .317/.321/.634.
*Corey Julks was 3x5 with a walk - the first time in his career he's been on base four times in a game.
*Jose Altuve's two runs scored moved him into a tie for 3rd place in Astros history with Lance Berkman, at 1,008. Only 509 more to catch Jeff Bagwell.
*Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright didn't make it out of the second inning. His last two starts: 4.2IP, 17H/13ER, 1K:4BB. It was his shortest outing since June 17, 2017.
*McTaggart: This upcoming series in Arlington is crucial.
*Evan Grant: The Rangers shouldn't get comfortable after their first half.
*Both Framber and Javier's next scheduled starts are listed as "TBA," which is um not a good sign.
*Jose Urquidy and Michael Brantley could face each other in live BP soon. The only way that ends is in a broken bat comebacker that impales Brantley and hits Urquidy in the mouth.
*Ken Rosenthal: The Astros are open to trading an outfielder. I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that it's Chas McCormick, who has managed to get just 167 PAs despite a career-high 117 wRC+. Rosenthal notes that the Yankees have had previous interest in Chas.
I have zero interest in selling, zero.
*AstrosFuture: Former prospect Bryan Muniz has transitioned into a hitting coach.
*Outside: The Free Soloist Who Fell to Earth.
*The Athletic: Meet Paraag Marathe, the 49ers numbers man soon to be the chairman of Leeds United.
*A Musical Selection from the recently-released-from-hospital Madonna: