Astros stunned 10-hit effort yields no runs
Miscues on basepaths, double play keep Houston off scoreboard
HOUSTON -- A couple of baserunning miscues didn't help matters, but the Astros expect to score runs when piling up 10 hits. It didn't happen on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros couldn't score in nine innings off John Danks in a 6-0 loss to the White Sox despite the double-digit hit total.
"We just found enough ways not to score," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "When we get 10 hits, we want and should score more runs, and we don't have to rely on the home run."
Jonathan Villar was thrown out at the plate attempting an inside-the-park home run leading off the fifth inning. Villar, who had a triple and a double, made the final out of the seventh inning when he was caught in a rundown between third base and home plate.
Jason Castro and Jake Marisnick also had two hits each for the Astros, who oddly enough have lost their past four games when recording at least 10 hits.
"It looks bad, 6-0, but we put together 10 hits, no long balls for us, no timely hits," said Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis, whose ninth-inning double extended his season-high hitting streak to seven games. "We didn't string anything together, and they did."
Sunday marked only the fifth time in franchise history the Astros did not score a run when tallying 10 or more hits. However, the Astros had opportunities to get to Danks, who became the sixth player in White Sox history to record a shutout while allowing 10 hits.
"He did a good job of preventing that big inning and made his pitches," Marisnick said. "He did well."
In the third inning, the Astros had three consecutive hits. After Villar grounded out to third base to lead off the inning, Castro, Marisnick and George Springer followed with singles. But Jose Altuve, last year's American League batting champion, hit into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
"We were about a foot away from this game being a little different on Altuve's double-play ball," Hinch said. "If it shoots the hole 1 foot over, we don't know how this game goes."
In the fifth, Villar's attempt to stretch a leadoff triple loomed even larger when Marisnick doubled two batters later. White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton misplayed Villar's leadoff drive. Eaton initially broke in, but by the time he realized the ball was hit deeper, it was over his head and rolling up to the base of Tal's Hill.
Third-base coach Gary Pettis waved around Villar, who was out on a close play at the plate following a relay throw from shortstop Alexei Ramirez to catcher Tyler Flowers.
It was one of those games for the Astros (31-20), who have dropped six of their last 10 games.
"Tonight, we were shut down, but for the most part our offense has been very potent, very dangerous with home runs and extra-base hits," Hinch said. "We need to continue to play clean baseball in order for us to get where we want to go."