HOUSTON – After slugging their way to their last four wins, the Houston Astros found a different way to extend their winning streak Friday night.
Yordan Álvarez had a game-ending double in the ninth inning for his third hit and Houston's only extra-base hit, lifting the Astros to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
“There’s going to be nights when everyone isn’t going to hit,” Alvarez said in Spanish through a translator. “So to have somebody to come through and get a big hit for us is what it’s about and it’s what winning teams do.”
It was tied at 1-all when Yuli Gurriel singled off Garrett Crochet (2-3) with one out in the ninth. Álvarez smacked a ball down the right-field line that rolled into the corner, allowing Gurriel to slide home just before the throw to give Houston the victory.
“The plan was just to not get too desperate at the plate," Alvarez said. “Wasn’t trying to hit a home run. I just wanted to make good, solid contact with the ball and that’s what happened."
Luis García allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, and Ryan Pressly (4-1) struck out the side in the ninth for the win.
“You can’t win the same way every day," manager Dusty Baker said. “A winning streak is usually about that. You find ways to win. We’ve been getting good pitching. We’ve been getting pitching deep into the game. So hopefully we just keep on rolling."
José Altuve cooled off after hitting three homers in four games, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. The Astros didn’t homer on Friday night after entering with at least two homers in their previous 10 games to tie a major league record.
García tied a career-high with eight strikeouts. He settled down after the first couple of innings, retiring 13 of his last 14 batters.
Brian Goodwin got things going for the White Sox with a double down the right-field line with one out in the first and he advanced to third on a single by Yoán Moncada. José Abreu followed with a single that scored Goodwin.
“We had some opportunities to add runs the first inning," manager Tony La Russa said. “They just made good pitches and got the outs."
Chicago starter Carlos Rodón yielded one run and three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings.
“That’s an impressive offense," he said. “They swing the bat. They take pitches and made me work all night."
Rodón retired his first 13 batters before Alvarez singled with one out in the fifth. Rodón walked Carlos Correa before Abraham Toro singled to load the bases.
There were two outs in the inning when Martín Maldonado walked to score a run and tie it at 1-1. Rodón was able to limit the damage by striking out Altuve to end the inning.
White Sox: INF/OF Leury García was out on Friday because of a sore knee. Manager Tony La Russa said he bruised it sliding recently and they’re trying to be careful with him. ... LF Andrew Vaughn sustained a bruise to his face when a ball bounced and hit him as he slid into second on a double in the sixth inning. He remained in the game before being replaced by Adam Engel for the bottom of the eighth. La Russa said Vaughn was having trouble seeing clearly and was icing his face after the game.
HOME SWEET HOME
Garcia has been great at home this season, posting a 2.05 ERA with 39 strikeouts in six starts. He leads American League rookies with a 2.82 ERA overall this season.
Houston’s Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) opposes Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51) when the series continues Saturday night.
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