MIAMI -- Joe Musgrove overcame his early-inning struggles and worked out of a fourth-inning jam to earn the win in Houston's 7-2 victory over the Marlins on Monday in the series opener at Marlins Park.Having allowed the majority of his runs in the first inning this season, Musgrove locked in
MIAMI -- Joe Musgrove overcame his early-inning struggles and worked out of a fourth-inning jam to earn the win in Houston's 7-2 victory over the Marlins on Monday in the series opener at Marlins Park.
Having allowed the majority of his runs in the first inning this season, Musgrove locked in and retired the Marlins in order in the opening frame. He recorded three of his five strikeouts in his first two innings.
"The results were good; I was able to command the ball well," Musgrove said. "[Catcher Evan Gattis] does so much work between starts and making sure he's ready for my outing, whether it's film work or communicating with me throughout the outing, he does a really good job of that. So it makes my job a lot easier, to trust in him and just go out there and try to execute pitches he's calling."
Sunday marked Musgrove's second consecutive win, and he pitched 5 2/3 innings for the second consecutive start. He scattered eight hits and allowed just one run.
"I just tried to stay aggressive and execute pitches, and I did that," he said. "I just hadn't been executing pitches. Tonight I was able to command the ball well to both sides of the plate."
Musgrove got out of a fourth-inning jam by striking out Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton with runners on first and second and only one out. He issued a walk to load the bases, but ended the inning by gloving a comebacker off the bat of Marlins third baseman Derek Dietrich.
Miami scored its first run off Musgrove on two hits in the fifth inning but he stopped the damage there, and registered two outs in the sixth before he was lifted after 91 pitches (62 strikes).
Yuli Gurriel ensured the Astros' victory with his first career grand slam in the sixth, and Jose Altuve, who was hit by a pitch in the first inning, accounted for the rest. Altuve delivered a two-run single in the seventh and a solo home run in the ninth.
Musgrove's first career start against the Marlins helped the team with the best record in baseball win for the 12th time in its last 15 games. The 27-12 record is Houston's best in franchise history after 29 games.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.