George Springer vs. the Indians

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Morton Is Masterful Again, Astros Win

The Astros lineup was able to provide run support for Charlie Morton's dominant performance.

May 18, 2018 - 10:45 pm
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Houston (SPORTSRADIO 610) - Friday night at Minute Maid Park started with a moment of silence to honor the victims of the shooting at Santa Fe High School that occurred earlier in the day. The Astros were able to move past the somber beginning to focus on baseball. Thanks to another marked outing from Charlie Morton and enough run support from the lineup, the Astros went on to beat the Indians by a final score of 4-1. 

"Really happy that our team responded and he got the win," Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said of Morton improving to (6-0) on the season.

The lineup had a strange night at the plate filled with missed opportunities leaving seven runners on base, but finally broke through late in the game. They grounded into two double plays and lined into another off Indians starter Mike Clevinger. He retired the Houston lineup in order just two times, in the second and sixth innings.

"We had a lot of runners on base because we had really good at-bats, especially from the top half of the order and then Tony (Kemp) at the back end," Hinch said. "I always say, 'if we keep giving ourselves a chance,' we'll eventually come up with the big hit and we did."

The offense scored just one run in the first six innings thanks to a solo blast from George Springer in the third. They ended up finding ways to push runs across in the final three frames. The lineup brought seven hitters to the plate in the seventh to push across two runs and managed one more in the eighth.

On the mound, Charlie Morton continued his streak of strong outings with a 7 inning, 1 run, 4 hit, 8 strikeout performance. Through the first six innings he allowed just two base runners. Though he was far short of setting another career high in punch outs, it was still a well founded night with one mistake that was a home run to Edwin Encarnacion. 

"When I'm throwing some kind of secondary pitch for a strike, that makes the four-seam better," Charlie said. "My stuff is just everywhere. I'm just throwing fastballs everywhere. Even sometimes my curveball is everywhere. When you can't really eliminate pitches and you can't eliminate areas of the zone, it makes it harder."

Morton allowed one run for his second consecutive start and lowered his season earned run average to 1.94. He also boosted his regular season winning streak to nine games which is a career long. Charlie halted a five-game losing streak to the Indians.

Prior to the game, outfielder Josh Reddick was scratched from the lineup due to left leg irritation. He was available to pinch-hit given an emergency, although his injury is unclear. Giving him a day off was the best decision after Reddick approached Hinch right before batting practice started.

"He had a little big of leg soreness. I'm not really sure what it is, it's on the outside of his leg. But it was pretty easy to scratch him, I don't want him out there," Hinch said. "We'll see how he wakes up tomorrow and how he feels."