The normally stoic Charlie Morton actually cracked a smile after he was reminded that his stellar outing gave him 10 wins for just the third time in his 11-year career.
However Brayden Schenn Jersey , the Houston right-hander was quick to point out that he wouldn’t have such success without help from his teammates, a fact that was on display on Tuesday.
Morton (10-1) struck out 13 in seven innings, Jake Marisnick hit a three-run homer in the eighth after preserving the shutout with a big defensive play in the sixth as the Astros got a 7-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
He scattered four hits and walked two for his third straight win to become Houston’s first 10-game winner.
”I didn’t even think about that,” he said of reaching 10 wins for the second straight year. ”Yeah, that’s a lot. That’s good. Honestly the wins, that’s a team thing. I give most of the credit to the guys in there.”
Toronto manager John Gibbons raved about Morton.
”Morton is in a class of his own,” he said. ”He’s in an elite group now. He wasn’t giving us much.”
Evan Gattis put Houston up with a two-run single in the fifth. Marisnick padded the lead with his shot to left field with one out in the eighth and Alex Bregman, who tied a career-high with four hits, added a two-run homer with two outs in the inning for his second straight game with a home run.
Marisnick’s homer came after he dazzled on defense two innings earlier. Teoscar Hernandez singled with two outs in the sixth before Yangervis Solarte drew a walk. Marisnick then robbed Justin Smoak of extra bases when he leaped and bounced off the wall in left-center to grab his fly ball.
”It’s a close game and everything that was on the line with that play … the game is completely different if he doesn’t make that catch,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
Marisnick, who routinely makes tough catches, said that it was definitely in the top-5 in his career and joked about jumping significantly higher than left fielder Josh Reddick on the play.
”I’m going to get a poster made of that with Reddick a little bit lower than me,” he said.
Toronto’s Ryan Borucki (0-1) had a solid start in his major league debut, allowing six hits and two runs while walking four with three strikeouts in six innings.
”I thought he was fantastic against a great hitting ballclub,” Gibbons said. ”They put the pressure on him, and he didn’t cave.”
Chris Devenski struck out one in the eighth and Hector Rondon allowed one hit in the ninth to give Houston its seventh shutout this season.
The Blue Jays couldn’t do anything against Morton early as he struck out the side in the first before walking Smoak to start the second. But Smoak was caught stealing and Morton struck out the next two batters to allow him to face the minimum through two.
The last two batters in the second inning were the first of 10 straight retired by Morton, capped by five strikeouts in a row. Russell Martin gave Toronto its first hit on a single with two outs in the fifth and Randal Grichuk followed with a broken-bat single Andrew Luck Jersey , but Aledmys Diaz grounded out to end the inning.
Bregman, who hit three doubles, doubled with one out in the fifth before Jose Altuve drew a walk. Both players advanced on a wild pitch with two outs before the Astros made it 2-0 on the double to left-center by Gattis.
Houston catcher Brian McCann was shaken up when Solarte hit him on the helmet on his backswing in the sixth inning. McCann was checked out by the team trainer before staying in the game.
Blue Jays: INF Josh Donaldson, who has been on the disabled list since June 1 because of calf tightness, strained his left calf while preparing to play in a rehabilitation game for Class A Dunedin on Tuesday. An MRI revealed the acute strain and the team said he’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks. … LHP Jaime Garcia (sore left shoulder) will see a specialist on Thursday before returning to Florida to continue his rehabilitation.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa got a game off on Tuesday as he deals with what Hinch said is ”a little bit of back stiffness.” Hinch said Correa was OK and the day off was more for rest than anything else. … RHP Joe Smith (right elbow inflammation) will throw one more bullpen before beginning a rehabilitation assignment this weekend.
ONE CITY, TWO MVPs
Altuve took a minute on Tuesday to congratulate Houston Rockets’ star James Harden for winning his first MVP trophy a night before. Altuve, who was named MVP for the first time last season, thinks it’s cool that Houston now has two MVPs.
”It was well-deserved … I would have been mad if he didn’t win it,” Altuve said.
Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 3.90 ERA) opposes Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.48) when these teams wrap up the series on Wednesday. Keuchel hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last two starts and Estrada allowed just three hits and two runs in seven innings in his last start but took the loss in a 2-1 defeat by the Angels.
Needing a good night’s sleep, Jose Urena left the ballpark shortly after midnight Wednesday before the end of the Miami Marlins‘ 16-inning loss to Tampa Bay, monitoring the game on his phone as he drove home.
That made him perhaps the best-rested player when the teams returned to the field barely 12 hours later. And it showed.
Urena and three relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Marlins bounced back from their marathon loss to beat Tampa Bay 3-0.
J.T. Riddle singled, tripled and homered.
”There is a little bit of a hangover. I’m not going to lie,” Riddle said. ”You play 16 innings like that, and you come in eight hours later and have to play again, the body doesn’t feel the greatest. But it’s part of your job.”
While both teams were dragging Youth Justin Reid Jersey , Urena looked fresh in his first outing since June 20, when he was sidelined by right shoulder impingement. He pitched five scoreless innings and struck out six before departing for a pinch hitter after throwing 78 pitches.
”Everything was good,” Urena said. ”I felt I could go longer, but I haven’t thrown that much the past 12 or 13 days.”
Drew Rucinski (4-1) pitched two scoreless innings for his second win in the series. Brad Ziegler pitched around a walk in the ninth to earn his 10th save.
The Marlins took the series and went 5-5 on their longest homestand of the year. The Rays lost for only the third time in the past 12 games.
Riddle’s RBI triple in the sixth put the Marlins ahead. The ball appeared catchable, but sailed over the head of center fielder Kevin Kiermaier near the wall.
Riddle added his fifth homer in the eighth.
Three Rays – Kiermaier, Daniel Robertson and Jake Bauers – started after playing all 16 innings Tuesday. They went a combined 0 for 11.
”Urena pitched well,” manager Kevin Cash said. ”He kind of changed his approach a little bit, started throwing fastballs in to the lefties and away to the righties. That has generally not been his M.O.”
When the Rays’ Carlos Gomez returned to the dugout after striking out in the second inning, he took three swings at a cooler, and the resulting thuds could be heard throughout the ballpark.
”He squared it up pretty good, it sounded like,” Riddle said.
Gomez then punched another cooler, which sent cups flying over the dugout railing.
Despite all that solid contact, Gomez is batting only .195.
”When I’m angry, I’m not thinking really well,” he said. ”If they fine for me this, I’ve got enough money to pay.”
Gomez said he was upset because he was hit by a pitch during the at-bat T.J. Green Jersey , and the umpire blew the call. He was jeered in subsequent at-bats by the crowd of 7,572.
UP AND DOWN
After using nine pitchers Tuesday, the Rays called up right-hander Ryan Weber from Triple-A Durham as reinforcement. Weber (0-1) allowed two runs in five innings and was optioned after the game back to Durham.
”I knew I was coming up to get the team innings, and that’s what I did,” Weber said. ”I kept the pitch count low so they could keep running me back out there. That’s all I could have asked for.”
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) felt fine after a rehab start and could rejoin the rotation as early as Monday against the Tigers. … LHP Vidal Nuno (right hamstring strain), who earned the victory Tuesday and contributed two hits before he was hurt, went on the 10-day disabled list. … RH Wilmer Font (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day DL.
Marlins: OF Lewis Brinson (left hip inflammation), batting only .186, was placed on the 10-day disabled list. … 3B Martin Prado (left hamstring) and 1B-OF Garrett Cooper (bruised right wrist) are expected to be activated for the upcoming series at Washington. … Miami recalled LHP Dillon Peters from Triple-A New Orleans.
Rays: Following a day off, the Rays play a three-game series at the Mets, with RHP Ryne Stanek (1-2, 1.98) expected to start.
Marlins: RHP Pablo Lopez (1-0, 3.00), who beat the Mets in his major league debut Saturday, is scheduled to start Thursday when Miami opens a four-game series at the Nationals.
Miami is 6-16 against Washington since the start of 2017.
”We’ve had our trouble with those guys,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”They’ve beat us up pretty good the last couple of years.”