Perfect 10: Inside Houston's forceful win spell

Bats club 4 homers as Urquidy spins 7 scoreless frames to extend streak

June 24th, 2021

If there was a wart on the 2021 Astros, it was that they had the tendency to play down to their opponents. That wasn’t the case Wednesday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where the Astros polished off a dominating three-game sweep of the Orioles with a 13-0 win.

José Urquidy allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings, while Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Abraham Toro and Chas McCormick each slugged homers as the Astros ran their winning streak to 10 games -- their longest since they had two 10-game streaks during their 107-win season in 2019.

“We talked about playing up to our capabilities, regardless of who you’re playing,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “Sometimes you get up for the real good teams and you’re just sort of ho-hum against other teams. We’ve got a good streak going. It feels good to win. I’ve been on teams that weren’t so good. When you get the opposition down, you’ve got to keep them down.”

The Astros, who outscored the Orioles 26-3, have won 14 of their last 16 games and are 39-18 since April 22, having won 14 of 18 series in that span. Houston has opened up a two-game lead over the A’s for first place in the American League West, which is its largest lead of the season.

Here’s the Astros’ 10-game winning streak by the numbers:

• The Astros have outscored opponents 81-21 during the streak (8.1 runs per game), slugging 22 home runs in that span. They’re hitting .330 with a .400 on-base percentage during the winning streak, while their pitching staff has posted a 1.68 ERA, allowing 55 hits in 91 innings while striking out 86 batters.

• Astros starting pitchers have thrown seven quality starts in the last 10 games, including six starts of at least seven innings. Urquidy has thrown seven innings in each of his last three starts, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA. He was working Wednesday on five days of rest, as Houston is going with a six-man rotation during a streak of 20 consecutive games without a day off. Urquidy threw 69 of his 84 pitches (82.1 percent) for strikes.

• Outfielder/designated hitter Michael Brantley is 20-for-40 with five doubles, a homer and 13 RBIs during the 10-game winning streak. What’s more, he’s 28-for-55 (.509) with seven doubles since being activated off the injured list on June 8. The Astros have won 13 of the 14 games in which he’s started in that span.

• Alvarez is slashing .353/.463/.647 during the 10-game streak with three homers and nine RBIs. His seventh-inning homer Wednesday traveled 448 feet with an exit velocity of 112 mph, which is the third-farthest and third-hardest hit home run by an Astros batter this season.

• Altuve went 2-for-5 on Wednesday for his fifth two-hit game during the winning streak. He’s slashing .325/.429/.750 during that span with five homers and 11 RBIs. He hit his 17th homer of the season in the fourth inning, which was his 10th in the month of June, tied for the Major League lead. He has walked in a career-high-tying four consecutive games.

• First baseman Yuli Gurriel is hitting .333 during the streak by going 10-for-30 with 10 singles. He went 6-for-10 in the three-game series against the Orioles with no strikeouts.

• Shortstop Carlos Correa, who sat out Tuesday’s game, is slashing .419/.539/.871 with three homers and nine RBIs in nine games during the 10-game streak. He has four multi-hit games in that stretch, including a 2-for-4 performance Wednesday.