Miley returns to form with 6 solid innings
Reddick adds career-high 5 hits as Astros tie Yanks for AL's best record
KANSAS CITY -- Prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Royals, Astros manager AJ Hinch reflected on left-hander Wade Miley’s recent struggles and expressed optimism that Miley would alleviate some growing concerns.
Miley was unable to even get out of the first inning in consecutive starts against Seattle and Oakland, but Hinch didn’t seem worried.
“We need to get him back to his normal way,” Hinch said in his pregame media gathering.
Mission accomplished. Miley had a shaky beginning, but he rallied to give Houston six innings of two-run pitching in a 12-3 victory that gave the Astros a sweep of the three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
The first inning was again problematic as Miley surrendered an Adalberto Mondesi single and a run-scoring triple to Jorge Soler with one out. But after going to a 3-0 count on Hunter Dozier, Miley came back to ring up a strikeout. Thereafter, Miley was back to his usual efficient self.
“Once I got out of the first inning, a big weight came off my shoulders,” Miley said.
With one run in and another man at third with one out, Miley stepped off the mound to clear his mind. He wound up winning an 11-pitch at-bat with Dozier.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think, ‘It’s happening again.’ I stepped off to think about something else,” Miley said. “I was thinking about my kid. Just clearing my head.”
The Astros gave Miley plenty of early offensive support by getting three runs in the second and two more in the third off Kansas City starter Jakob Junis. Josh Reddick homered and finished with a 5-for-5 day with three runs scored and three RBIs. It was the first five-hit performance of Reddick’s career. The double-digit run production came on a day when Hinch was resting Jose Altuve and George Springer.
“Reddick wanted me to pinch-run Springer for him if he got his fifth hit,” Hinch said with a smile. “That was under consideration, but I thought better of it.”
Reddick said he could hear the cheers from the Astros' dugout when he singled in the eighth inning for his fifth hit. Although a couple of his hits were of the soft-contact variety, Reddick will gladly take them all.
“These days don’t come around without a few lucky hits in there,” Reddick said. “Sometimes, you need those.”
The Astros (98-53) are now tied with the Yankees for the best record in the American League. After three straight losses to Oakland on the last homestand, they came to Kansas City and took care of business.
“We had a lot of really good at-bats,” Hinch said. “We stayed on them and never really relented at the plate.”