The Astros won their first road series of the season thanks to today’s 11-9 win over the White Sox. It was also the first series this season that the Astros have played under American League rules. Coincidence? Maybe not. The Astros seem to have discovered the secret to winning American League games… hit plenty of homeruns.
The Astros used four longballs to fuel today’s win, the most impressive coming off the bat of Justin Maxwell. Houston trailed after making some early mistakes but Maxwell’s long distance blast in the fifth inning put the Astros on top for good. Brett Wallace, Jose Altuve, and J.D. Martinez also went deep making it the first time all season the Astros had four homers in a game.
Lucas Harrell earned his team-leading sixth win of the season with another outstanding pitching performance. For the second straight start Harrell left the game with a big lead that the bullpen was barely able to hold. Fernando Martinez gave up three runs in the ninth before giving way to Brett Myers. The king of the regulators got two quick outs to notch his 15th save in 16 opportunities.
While the rest of the league continues interleague play the Astros head to San Francisco for a three-game N.L. series against the Giants starting Tuesday. Then it’s on to Arlington for three more A.L. tilts against the Rangers. That doesn’t make sense to me. With the Astros moving to the A.L. next season they should be playing as many A.L. teams as possible in order to ease into the transition. In fact, I’m all for playing the rest of the season under A.L. rules. I mean… you’ve gotta go with what’s working.
The Astros should be able to play under the rules of whichever league they want for the rest of the year, considering how Bud Selig and the owners railroaded them into switching leagues. They should be able to decide for themselves on a game by game basis, right?
Seriously though, I find it especially interesting that the Astros were able to take the series in Chicago considering the team’s two best DH-type players were on the disabled list. Carlos Lee and Fernando Martinez were both unavailable for skipper Brad Mills. J.D. Martinez started all three games at DH and was 2 for 13 with a homer and six strikeouts.