Astros bats come alive, pound White Sox

Astros bats come alive, pound White Sox
July 20, 2014, 5:45 pm
Share This Post
(Matt Marton - USA Today Sports Images)

The Astros broke out the bats on Sunday, matching their season-high with 17 hits in a 11-7 drubbing of the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Turning Point:

After the White Sox tied the game at seven in the sixth inning after trailing by four runs in the fifth, the Astros responded immediately in the seventh inning with doubles by Chris Carter, Matt Dominguez and L.J. Hoes to retake the lead. When Marwin Gonzalez added a two-out, two-run single the Astros' lead was back to four.

Starting Pitching:

Jarred Cosart had an up and down day on the mound. He struggled with command again, walking four batters in five innings. He also gave up seven hits and four runs, though he was hampered by some bad defense by Jonathan Singleton, once on a ground ball that was scored a hit and once on a grounder that went between his legs. Despite Cosart’s struggles, he left the game with the Astros up by three runs and in position to get the win.

Bullpen:

The bullpen, thanks to some defensive breakdowns, wasn’t able to hold the 7-4 lead. Darin Downs came in to relieve Cosart to start the sixth inning, getting one out and giving up one hit that would eventually come around to score off of Jose Veras. Veras, brought in to quiet the White Sox rally, gave up a double and single to the first two batters he faced to narrow the lead to one run. After getting Adam Dunn to pop out for the second out of the inning, he induced a ground ball by Dayan Viciedo to Jose Altuve at second. Altuve, who went down to one knee to field the ball, was unable to corral it for the Astros' second error of the inning and allowed the tying run to score.

Josh Fields pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Chad Qualls did the same in the ninth.

Lineup:

U.S. Cellular Field has the site of an Astros' hit parade on Sunday. Every Astro in the lineup had at least one hit, and six of the nine starters had at least two. In all, the Astros pounded out 17 hits, matching the team’s season high.

Dominguez led the way for the Astros with three hits, including a two-run home run. In all, the third baseman had four RBIs and scored two runs.

Carter and Gonzalez also had three hits for the Astros, Carter drove in one and Gonzalez two runs for the Astros. Carter also stole his first base of the year.

Defense:

The defense was shaky throughout the game for the Astros. Three grounders were hit to first base that Singleton was unable to corral. The first two were scored as hits, but the third, a ground ball that went through his legs, allowed two runs to score in the fourth inning.

Enrique Hernandez, who had not taken a misstep in the field since his promotion to the Astros at the start of the month, made an ill-advised throw home from centerfield that was late and well off-line, allowing what turned out to be the tying run in the sixth inning to get to second base.

Altuve let that tying run in by letting a ground ball go through his legs.

Up Next:

The Astros have an off-day as they travel to the West Coast for a three-game series in Oakland against the A’s that starts on Tuesday. Brett Oberholtzer (2-7, 4.50 ERA) will get the start in place of Collin McHugh, who will have a rehab start that night in Oklahoma City. Houston-native Scott Kazmir (11-3, 2.38 ERA) will take the mound for Oakland.  First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m., and coverage begins on CSN Houston with Astros Pregame Live at 8:30.

More Team Talk