World Series

Brown strong again, McCormick has 2 RBIs as Astros extend streak to 6 with 5-2 win over Rockies

Brown strong again, McCormick has 2 RBIs as Astros extend streak to 6 with 5-2 win over Rockies

HOUSTON (AP) — Hunter Brown struck out seven in six scoreless innings and Chas McCormick drove in two runs as the Houston Astros used a big first inning to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Brown (5-5) allowed two hits to win his fourth straight start and help the Astros tie a season-high with their sixth consecutive win.

Brown has turned things around after opening the season with four losses.

“He just looks different on the mound, his mound presence and how there’s conviction behind everything that he’s doing,” manager Joe Espada said. “There’s this level of confidence, and you put that together with the stuff he has — he's a guy that we needed to step up and he has.”

Jake Meyers tied a season high with three hits and Jose Altuve had two hits and an RBI as the Astros moved within a game of .500 at 39-40.

Michael Toglia hit a solo home run for Colorado with one out in the ninth and pinch-hitter Jacob Stallings walked with two outs. But Josh Hader struck out Brenton Doyle to end it.

It was the fourth loss in five games for the Rockies and their 10th consecutive loss at Minute Maid Park dating to Aug. 15, 2018.

The Astros jumped on starter Austin Gomber (1-5) for five runs in the first inning after scoring four runs in the opening frame of an 8-1 win over the Orioles on Sunday.

“We just wanted to make sure we came out swinging,” McCormick said. “It was nice to get some momentum.”

Altuve hit a leadoff single and stole second base before scoring on a single by Alex Bregman. Yainer Diaz and Jake Meyers drove in runs before McCormick smacked a line drive to center field to score two more.

“We came out with a really good plan and we scored those big five runs that were enough for us to win the game,” Espada said.

Gomber settled down after the tough first inning, allowing only one single over the next four innings. He allowed eight hits and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings for his fourth straight loss. He was lifted after a double by Meyers with one out in the sixth.

“He’s got to rely maybe a little bit more on the fastball,” manager Bud Black said. “I talk about that all the time. the starting pitcher's game has to revolve around the fastball for me. It’s tough to throw a ton of secondary pitches as a starting pitcher. It just takes too much out of you.”

The Rockies didn’t get a hit until Ezequiel Tovar singled to start the fourth inning, but he was erased when Ryan McMahon grounded into a forceout. Brendan Rodgers singled after that before Brown retired the next two batters to end the inning.

Seth Martinez hit Doyle with a pitch to start the eighth and McMahon singled with one out to send him to third. Rodgers singled to right field to score Doyle and make it 5-1.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon (right hamstring strain) stayed in Denver to work out this week, but manager Bud Black said he’s doing better. Black added that Blackmon, whose stint on the injured list was backdated to June 19, should be able to return the first day he’s eligible to come off the IL.

Astros: OF Kyle Tucker (bruised right shin) remains sore but is making progress, according to manager Joe Espada. Tucker took swings off a batting tee this weekend and Espada said the next step is to do some work in the outfield.

UP NEXT

Houston RHP Spencer Arrighetti (3-6, 6.36 ERA) opposes RHP Ryan Feltner (1-6, 6.02) in the series finale Wednesday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

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