Stanton HR ends Yanks’ 16 1/3-inning hitless slump vs Astros

Houston Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy (65) throws against the New York Yankees during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 26, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray) (Noah K. Murray, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – Giancarlo Stanton homered against Houston’s José Urquidy with one out in the seventh inning, ending the New York Yankees’ hitless drought at 16 1/3 innings and spoiling the Astros’ efforts to throw a second consecutive no-hitter in the Bronx.

A day after Cristian Javier and two relievers no-hit baseball's best team, Urquidy was nearing history Sunday. No team has been no-hit in consecutive games, although the 1917 Chicago White Sox were no-hit on consecutive days by the St. Louis Browns. The second gem came in the second game of a doubleheader.

Stanton pounded on a first-pitch fastball, crushing it into the netting protecting Monument Park behind the center field fence. It was Stanton's third homer in the four-game series and 17th this season.

The Yankees hadn't had a hit since the eighth inning of a 3-1 loss Friday night. The 16 1/3-inning drought was the longest by any team since at least 1961, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Urquidy worked through the rest of the seventh unscathed. He's walked three and struck out three on 98 pitches. The right-hander set a career high with 104 pitches in his previous start.

DJ LeMahieu came the closest to a hit before Stanton, but he was robbed by shortstop Jeremy Peña, who returned from injured list after missing time with a left thumb issue. Peña went deep in the hole for LeMahieu's grounder and skipped a long throw to first base for the first out of the fourth inning.

Urquidy allowed his first baserunner when Anthony Rizzo walked with two outs in the fourth. Stanton followed with a sharp lineout to right field.

Josh Donaldson walked leading off the fifth, but Gleyber Torres flied out and Aaron Hicks grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Aaron Judge ripped a line drive toward the right-center field gap with two outs in the sixth inning, but right fielder Kyle Tucker ran it down.

Houston is trying to win a four-game series against the major league-leading Yankees. New York hitters were overwhelmed during the first three games, save for a four-run, ninth-inning rally in Thursday’s 7-6 win. Take away that inning, and New York entered Sunday 7 for 87 (.080) against Astros pitching.

New York has lost consecutive games for the first time since May 28-29. The Yankees entered Sunday with 361 runs, second in the majors behind the Mets. Their 52-20 record matches the fifth-best 72-game start in the majors since 1930.

Astros manager Dusty Baker credited Houston's pitching dominance this series to consistent strike-throwing. Of course, that’s Urquidy’s specialty. He entered Sunday with 1.74 walks per nine innings.

Veteran catcher Martín Maldonado caught Saturday's no-hitter and was back behind the plate Sunday with temperatures nearing 90 degrees.

Before Saturday, New York hadn’t been no-hit since six Astros teamed up for one at the old Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2003.

The only previous teams with hitless skids of 16 innings since 1961 are the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers and 1973 Oakland Athletics. Baker was a player on those '81 Dodgers.

There have been two other no-hitters this season, with five New York Mets pitchers combining against Philadelphia on April 29 and Reid Detmers of the Los Angeles Angels accomplishing the feat against the Rays on May 10.

Spurred by a leadoff homer from Jose Altuve off Nestor Cortes, the Astros lead 3-1.

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