Bregman helps Astros sink Yankees again, 2-1

  • Houston Astros' Alex Bregman watches his two-run double against the New York Yankees during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON — The Houston Astros wrapped up a stretch of nine straight games against New York teams Thursday night with another win over the New York Yankees.

Alex Bregman hit a two-run double early and the Astros held on for the 2-1 victory.


Houston went 3-2 against the major league-leading Yankees and swept four games with the Mets, who had baseball’s second best record before being overtaken by the Astros.

“It was a great victory for the fans to watch and it was great for the city of Houston and it was great for my ball club,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We played good during this time. We beat two very good teams and played them in a short period of time and you usually don’t do that.”

The Yankees managed just two runs combined in the three recent losses to Houston. That included a 3-0 defeat Saturday where three Astros pitchers combined for a no-hitter.

“They’re good,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They’re one of the best teams at keeping you from scoring as there is. So they’ve done a good job of, for the most part, holding us down. That’s going to happen sometimes against good teams.”

The Yankees were in town for just one game to make up part of a series that was scrapped because of the lockout. They’ll complete the series with a doubleheader here July 21.

Houston starter Luis García (6-5) allowed three hits and one run with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for his third straight win. Ryan Pressly struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his 17th save.

Jake Meyers doubled with no outs in the third before Aledmys Díaz walked with two outs. Kyle Tucker walked to load the bases before Bregman’s double to put Houston up 2-0.

The Astros had a chance to pad the lead, but the inning ended on an odd play after a malfunction of New York starter Luis Severino’s PitchCom device.

With Yuli Gurriel at-bat, a frustrated Severino took off his cap and held the PitchCom speaker to his ear, apparently unable to hear instructions from catcher Jose Trevino.

Tucker saw Severino was distracted from third base and tried to sneak home. Severino had the PitchCom earpiece in his right hand and had to quickly maneuver to get the baseball back in his throwing hand. He threw home while still holding his cap, and his throw narrowly beat Tucker and ended the inning.

“I saw him when he was like halfway, but nobody’s faster than the ball,” Severino said.

Severino was asked about making the throw with the device and his cap still in his hands.

“I’m very good with my hands,” he said with a laugh.

Boone raved about the heads-up play.

“Sevy didn’t panic and reacted the right way and made the play,” Boone said.

Baker thought it was a good chance for Tucker to take.

“If he throws that ball any kind of way errantly he’s safe,” Baker said. “I urge our guys to play aggressively and I thought he still had a chance to be safe. … That was a bold play that almost worked.”

Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer for the Yankees in the sixth inning, but they had trouble generating much else on offense as they had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Severino (4-3) yielded three hits and two runs in six innings.

The Astros were without slugger Yordan Alvarez and shortstop Jeremy Peña after the two were involved in a nasty outfield collision Wednesday in a win over the Mets. Baker said both were continuing testing for concussions, and he wasn’t sure how long they’d be sidelined.

Garcia had retired seven of the last eight batters he’d faced with three consecutive strikeouts when Rizzo knocked his 21st home run into right field to cut the lead to 2-1 and chase Garcia with one out in the sixth. Ryne Stanek took over, and Giancarlo Stanton greeted him with a single before Gleyber Torres walked with two outs in the inning.

Stanek retired Jose Trevino for the third out to extend his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 20.

• • •


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Backup catcher Michael Perez had three home runs, rookies Oneil Cruz and Jack Suwinski hit back-to-back shots and Pittsburgh beat Milwaukee.

It was the first multihomer game of Perez’s five-year career. He hit a two-run blast in the fourth inning off Brent Suter (1-2) to break a 3-3 tie, added another two-run homer in the sixth to make it 6-4 then had a solo shot in the eighth to increase the lead to 8-4.

The outburst came one day after the Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds had a three-homer game in a win at Washington.

Rookie Yerry De Los Santos relieved closer David Bednar in the ninth with runners on first and third and retired Luis Urias on a pop fly for his second career save, both coming in the last two days.

JT Brubaker (2-7) pitched six innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked two.

• • •


CLEVELAND (AP) — Andrés Giménez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Tyler Thornburg (0-2) and Cleveland beat Minnesota for its second straight walk-off win.

José Ramírez drew a leadoff walk, the 10th allowed by Minnesota. Josh Naylor’s groundout moved Ramírez to second and Owen Miller flied out. Giménez followed with his game-winner. The Guardians lead the majors with 17 last at-bats wins, including six against the rival Twins.

The Twins failed to hold a 6-3 lead in the 10th inning on Wednesday night, when the Guardians scored four times and won the game on Naylor’s two-run homer.

Emmanuel Clase (2-2) pitched the ninth for Cleveland.

• • •


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Turner homered twice, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning, and Los Angeles beat San Diego in the opener of a four-game series between the NL West’s top teams.

The Dodgers have won 12 of 13 against San Diego dating to Aug. 24, outscoring the Padres 72-29 in that span. They extended their division lead to 2 1/2 games.

Evan Phillips (2-3) got the win in 1 1/3 innings of relief. He struck out one. Craig Kimbrel retired the side in the ninth for his 14th save.

Joe Musgrove (8-2) gave up both homers to Turner. The right-hander allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out a season-high 10 and walked one.

• • •


TORONTO (AP) — Teoscar Hernández and Santiago Espinal each hit two-run home runs, Yuseki Kukuchi struck out a season-high eight over six innings to snap a seven-start winless streak and Toronto beat Tampa Bay.

Hernández hit his eighth homer in the second, and Espinal went deep in the seventh, his sixth. Both homers came off Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (0-4).

Rays left-hander Jeffrey Springs had been set to start against Toronto on Friday but instead left the team and was put on the Family Medical Emergency List. Rays infielder Isaac Paredes hit a solo homer in the fourth, his 11th.

Kikuchi (3-4) allowed one run and four hits over six innings, his longest outing since his previous win, May 16 against Seattle. He went 0-3 with a 7.30 in the seven starts between victories.

• • •


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Schwarber finished off the month with another June homer, Darick Hall went deep twice and Philadelphia avoided a three-game sweep with a rout of Atlanta.

Rhys Hoskins and Nick Castellanos also homered for the Phillies, who reached a season high in runs despite missing star Bryce Harper for the fourth straight game. The 2021 NL MVP is out indefinitely after having surgery on his broken left thumb Wednesday.

Adam Duvall and Michael Harris II went deep for the defending champion Braves, who ended June with a 21-6 mark to equal the most victories in a calendar month since the club moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966.

Aaron Nola (5-5) allowed four runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in seven innings. The Phillies pulled away with seven runs and six hits in the second off Ian Anderson (6-5).

• • •


CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Wisdom hit a grand slam and a solo homer en route to a career-high six RBIs, rookie Christopher Morel had a career-high five hits and Chicago beat Cincinnati.

The Cubs collected 23 hits off five pitchers, tying their season high from a 21-0 rout of the Pirates on April 23. Seven of those hits came in the eighth against outfielder Max Schrock, who allowed a two-run homer to P.J. Higgins and a solo shot to Morel.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (4-6) pitched six innings of six-hit ball and tied a season high with seven strikeouts. Hendricks has allowed two runs in his last 13 1/3 innings.

Joey Votto continued his dominance of Hendricks by hitting a solo home run in the sixth. Reds starter Graham Ashcraft (4-2) allowed a career-high seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.

• • •


SEATTLE (AP) — Julio Rodríguez homered for the second day in a row, Cal Raleigh had a two-run triple in the fifth inning and Seattle beat Oakland.

Seattle has won 17 of 19 games against Oakland and earned its third straight victory overall to improve to 37-41.

The A’s recalled Adrian Martinez (1-1) from Triple-A Las Vegas for his second career start, and he allowed seven runs and seven hits over 4 2/3 innings.

Seattel starter Logan Gilbert (9-3) didn’t have his best performance over six innings. His four runs allowed were the most he’s given up since May 11.

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