Jose Urquidy recorded his first career victory while Yuli Gurriel homered for the 13th time in 21 games as the host Houston Astros claimed the season series from the Texas Rangers with a 6-1 victory Saturday.
Urquidy (1-0) posted a 10.50 ERA over his two starts before facing the Rangers for the first time. He needed just 35 pitches to complete one perfect trip through the order and, after surrendering a leadoff home run to Rangers left fielder Shin-Soo Choo in the fourth inning, responded to that hiccup by retiring 11 consecutive batters.
It took a quirky infield single from Rangers designated hitter Hunter Pence with two outs in the seventh to snap that string. Urquidy recovered to induce a fly-ball out from Joey Gallo to complete his outing. Urquidy, the first Mexican-born player to appear with the Astros, surrendered two hits and did not issue a walk while recording nine strikeouts over seven innings. He threw 98 pitches, 63 for strikes, and allowed a combined five balls put in play off 34 four-seam fastballs and 17 curveballs. He induced 11 swinging strikes on 45 changeups.
The Astros roped three doubles in support of Urquidy in the third inning, with Myles Straw and George Springer smacking consecutive doubles off Rangers right-hander Ariel Jurado (5-6) for a 1-0 lead. Michael Brantley then doubled in Springer to double the Houston lead. In the fifth, Gurriel broke it open with a three-run blast to left.
Gurriel extended his hitting streak to nine games with his 18th home run. He followed two-out singles by Brantley and Yordan Alvarez and bumped his RBI total to 28 over his last 21 games. Gurriel is batting .381 with 10 home runs and 23 RBIs this month.
Jurado allowed five runs on eight hits, with one walk with four strikeouts over five innings, suffering his second consecutive loss to the Astros with 10 runs allowed during that span.
Tony Kemp added an opposite-field home run against Rangers right-hander Phillips Valdez in the sixth inning, his seventh homer on the season. Texas has dropped six consecutive games.
--Field Level Media