Urquidy's 7 scoreless, Altuve's 4 hits fuel Astros

Mancini connects for first homer with Houston; Tucker bunts to snap skid

August 3rd, 2022

HOUSTON -- Relieved that the Trade Deadline has come and gone and happy to know he remained with the Astros, right-hander José Urquidy continued his dominance by striking out 10 batters and throwing seven scoreless innings in Houston’s 6-1 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Urquidy (10-4), who threw 70 of 97 pitches for strikes, is 5-1 with a 2.29 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP while throwing nine consecutive quality starts. He’s struck out 47 batters and walked only 12 in 59 innings in that stretch, which coincides with him ditching his cutter in the middle of June.

Urquidy said the Trade Deadline was stressful, but that’s behind him.

“I’m more calm right now,” said Urquidy, who worked with catcher Christian Vázquez, acquired from Boston on Monday. “For days, I was like, ‘Oh, what’s going to happen with me? Where am I going to be?’ Right now, I feel more comfortable, and I'm very grateful to be here on this team.”

Here’s more from Wednesday’s game:

Altuve ties Biggio’s record
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve tied Hall of Famer Craig Biggio’s club record for four-hit games at 34 by going 4-for-4 with a run scored and a double, raising his batting average from .272 to .280. He’s hitting .315 since July 1.

“Every time my name is mentioned next to Craig Biggio, I feel honored and have a lot of respect for him,” Altuve said. “Obviously, he’s a Hall of Famer and he had a really good career. I’m just happy.”

Altuve singled and scored in the first inning, doubled in the second, beat out an infield hit in the fourth and singled to right in the sixth. He never got a chance for a fifth at-bat and was on deck when Mauricio Dubón lined out to left field to end the eighth. Altuve has never had five hits in a game.

“I thought I had a chance today to go out there and try,” he said.

"Dubón got a good line drive, and I thought it would be a base hit, but maybe another day.”

Mancini meets the Crawford Boxes
It didn’t take long for new Astro Trey Mancini to fall in love with the Crawford Boxes in left field. Mancini stroked a 377-foot two-run homer to left field in the second, giving the Astros a 4-0 lead. It was his first hit since being acquired from Baltimore on Monday.

“It was really special,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and contribute to win. That was the goal today. It was a really special moment, and I just have felt so welcomed here, and it was a really fun game today.”

According to Statcast, the home run would not have been a homer at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. It’s only 315 feet down the left-field line in Houston, while the reconfigured Camden Yards is 333 feet down the left-field line before extending out to 384 feet.

Mancini would have 22 home runs this season if he played all his games at Minute Maid Park, 11 more than his actual total.

“I know I’ve given the wall there [in Baltimore] a little flak sometimes, but at the same time, left-center and center there might be kinder than here,” Mancini said. “I hit it and had a pretty good feeling off the bat it was going to go out. It felt pretty good.”

Tucker breaks out
Kyle Tucker has tried changing batting gloves and walk-up music, so why not drop down a bunt? The Astros’ right fielder, who entered Wednesday in a 2-for-26 skid, legged out a bunt hit in the second inning and later added a two-run double, going 2-for-4. He also flirted with a homer on a long flyout in the third inning, and he lined into a double play in the seventh on a ball with a 105.5 mph exit velocity.

“I thought about it the past couple of days,” Tucker said of the bunt. “I just tried to get something going. I figured I might as well bunt, and it worked out well. Trey had that big homer right behind me, and we put up an extra two runs on the board. It worked out really well for us. I picked out a couple of extra good swings after that, and hopefully, I can keep that going.”