MIAMI -- Yuli Gurriel nearly broke up Dan Straily's no-hit bid in the fourth inning with a hard line drive that was run down in center field. An inning later, the Houston first baseman connected on his first career grand slam to power the Astros to a 7-2 victory over
MIAMI -- Yuli Gurriel nearly broke up Dan Straily's no-hit bid in the fourth inning with a hard line drive that was run down in center field. An inning later, the Houston first baseman connected on his first career grand slam to power the Astros to a 7-2 victory over Miami on Monday at Marlins Park.
"Really happy about my first grand slam," said Gurriel, who lives in Miami and had around 50 friends and family in attendance. "It made me feel like I was in Cuba."
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Gurriel's slam came on a 2-1 offering from Junichi Tazawa, who got himself into a bases-loaded jam after walking Carlos Correa with two outs, and hitting Evan Gattis with a pitch. Tazawa still had a chance to work out of the inning, but his 93.6-mph fastball was sent into the Astros' bullpen by Gurriel, whose big blast, per Statcast™, projected at 383 feet and had an exit velocity of 107.5 mph.
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"It started out with a couple of balls in," Tazawa said through an interpreter. "You want to throw it in a good spot, but also, you didn't want to walk him. It kind of ran a little more in the middle than I wanted."
The Astros did their damage once Straily exited after five innings, allowing one hit, a two-out double to Alex Bregman in the fifth inning. Straily was forced to leave after 63 pitches because he was struck on the right forearm by Gattis' comeback liner, which was tracked at 108.3 mph. Gurriel's lineout to center in the fourth inning was 102.5 mph. It had a hit probability of 63 percent.
"[Straily] was really good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It looked like he was getting the ball to both sides of the plate. He changed speeds. Good breaking ball, and slider was very good tonight. It's unfortunate that he gets hit there. We'll see where he's at tomorrow. The fact they were able to get the ice on quickly and keep the swelling down, it gives us a fighting chance to make his next start."
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning off Joe Musgrove on Christian Yelich's two-out, RBI single. Justin Bour delivered a home run for Miami in the eighth inning, his fourth shot in five games. It projected at 437 feet, with an exit speed of 108 mph. He finished the game 3-for-4.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Altuve strikes back after being struck: In the first inning, Jose Altuve was shaken up after being hit by a 91.8-mph Straily fastball on his left hand. There was immediate concern as the All-Star second baseman was on the ground in pain. But he went to first base, remained in the game, and came up with a big, two-run single off Brad Ziegler in the seventh inning that gave the Astros a five-run lead. Altuve capped his night with a home run off Dustin McGowan with two outs in the ninth.
"[I was] just trying to tie him up a little bit," Straily said. "I made two pitches real similar, and he got out of the way of the first one. I'm trying to stay in there on the white line, if you will. These guys, they swing at that pitch. That one right there, you never want to injure anyone. The way he went down, I thought maybe it got his hand. I don't know exactly where it hit him. Friend or not friend, it doesn't matter. You still don't want to injure anyone."
No-hit bid to, 'Oh, no!' scare: A no-hitter was intact when Straily took the mound to start the fifth inning. But the bid for history was quickly replaced by concern over whether the Marlins' right-hander was OK. Gattis' liner struck Straily on his right forearm, near his elbow. Straily retrieved the ball and got the out at first, but his arm was visibly bruised. After being checked by Mattingly and trainer Dustin Luepker, Straily threw four warmup pitches and remained in the game.
The next batter, Gurriel, lined sharply to center field for the second out. Bregman's two-out double ended the no-hit bid, but Straily was done after he struck out Musgrove to end the inning. Straily was removed from the game after he dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the inning. He was wearing a compression sleeve, but his night was over after 63 pitches.
"There's no pain around it. It got pretty swollen," Straily said. "It looked like a baseball was inside my arm. Then everything just kind of started going down. I spent the rest of the game in here taking care of it. Hopefully, that's the end of that."
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"Every day you've got to come in here and think today is the day we start that winning streak. We'll come in here tomorrow, and hope that's the start of a 10-game stretch where we don't lose. It can happen any moment. We got a big jolt of energy with [Bour]'s home run. You can't let it get you down. It's a really long season. By no means are we out of this thing. It's really early in the year. We've got to keep coming every day, and keep the same work ethic and keep going."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Marwin Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning. Gonzalez's chopper went over the head of Marlins first baseman Bour and into right field.
Astros:Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for the Astros in the 6:10 p.m. CT middle game of a three-game series with Miami at Marlins Park on Tuesday. The left-hander is on a 10-game win streak dating back to last season.
Marlins:Tom Koehler will start for Miami in the 7:10 p.m. ET game. Koehler is making his eighth start, but has just two decisions. He has two starts of six-plus innings.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.