Jose Altuve slugged a home run before Marwin Gonzalez delivered a perfect squeeze bunt and the Houston Astros completed a sweep of their season series with the Chicago White Sox with a 2-1 victory on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros (61-31) moved to a season-high 30 games over .500 by mustering just enough offense against Chicago right-hander Lucas Giolito, who worked a season-high 7 1/3 innings.
Altuve recorded the first hit off Giolito with his leadoff homer to left-center field in the fourth inning, a 392-foot blast that came on the first pitch of that frame. Giolito (5-8) had allowed three baserunners prior to Altuve smacking his ninth home run, including two in succession to open the bottom of the first. Giolito retired nine consecutive batters after Altuve homered.
Yuli Gurriel snapped that run with a leadoff double in the seventh, and he advanced to third base when Josh Reddick lifted a fly ball to deep center field for the first out of the inning. Facing an 0-2 count, Gonzalez deposited a bunt between home plate and the mound that Giolito fielded cleanly. But with Gurriel charging in from third, Giolito opted for the sure out at first base.
Giolito allowed two runs on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
Houston reclaimed the lead on the Gonzalez sacrifice bunt and completed a sweep of the seven-game season series. The Astros also extended their current winning streak to six games.
Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (6-8) worked seven innings, allowing one run on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Leading 1-0 in the seventh, he allowed a leadoff single to Yoan Moncada before walking Yolmer Sanchez. After Adam Engel advanced both runners with a bunt, Keuchel surrendered a sacrifice fly to Tim Anderson that pulled Chicago even.
Keuchel ended that threat with a ground-ball out, his 16th of the game for a season-high total.
Astros right-hander Hector Rondon worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
Chicago right fielder Avisail Garcia, who homered Friday and Saturday, finished 1-for-3 with a single before leaving after five innings (right hamstring tightness). He is considered day to day.
--Field Level Media