Marwin Gonzalez and Yuli Gurriel keyed three-run innings with two-run singles, and the Houston Astros squared their interleague series with the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks with a 10-4 victory on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros (93-55) broke free offensively and extended their lead in the American League West over the Oakland Athletics to 3 1/2 games in the process. The Athletics fell 7-5 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Diamondbacks (78-71) fell four games back in both the National League West and hunt for the second NL wild card, pending the result of Colorado’s late game at San Francisco.
Leading 2-1 in the fourth, the Astros finally struck a big blow against Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley (14-10), who issued six walks over three innings yet kept the damage at a minimum.
Gonzalez penalized Godley for surrendering consecutive one-out singles to George Springer and Jose Altuve with a line drive that cleared the leaping attempt of Arizona right fielder Steven Souza Jr. Gurriel followed with a single that Souza misplayed into a two-base error, enabling Gonzalez to score from first and the Astros to extend their lead to 5-2.
Godley departed after the Gurriel single having allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and six walks over 3 2/3 innings. He recorded one strikeout and threw 42 of his 89 pitches for balls.
Gurriel capped a three-run sixth with a single to center that scored Altuve and Alex Bregman. Altuve roped a two-run double just inside the third base line in the seventh.
Springer finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored while Altuve went 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch. Altuve scored three runs in addition to his two RBIs.
Gurriel also recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Astros right-hander Charlie Morton (15-3) produced a promising start. He completed one trip through the Diamondbacks order without allowing a baserunner and maintained his lead despite A.J. Pollock (hit by pitch) and Eduardo Escobar (single) reaching in succession to open the fourth.
Arizona second baseman Ketel Marte opened the fifth with a homer, his 11th, but that was the last bit of trouble Morton encountered.
After fatiguing in August and needing a stint on the disabled list, Morton worked six innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He did not issue a walk and tallied seven strikeouts. Of his 70 pitches, 55 were strikes.
–Field Level Media