Luis Garcia carried a shutout into the sixth inning before four relievers held the line as the Houston Astros topped the visiting New York Yankees 2-1 on Thursday.
The Astros completed a grueling nine-game stretch against the Yankees and New York Mets with a 7-2 record including a 3-0 mark at home. Garcia (6-5) continued what's been a stellar stretch for Houston starters against the Yankees, tossing a season-high 101 pitches in the win.
Garcia retired the side in order only twice, doing so in the top of the second and fifth innings. However, he worked around a two-out walk to Anthony Rizzo in the first inning, consecutive one-out baserunners in the third and a two-out single by Gleyber Torres in the fourth.
Garcia proved most elusive in the third inning when he induced a fly-ball out from Aaron Judge before fanning Rizzo after Joey Gallo walked and DJ LeMahieu followed with a single to center field. That preserved the scoreless tie, and the Yankees didn't solve Garcia until Rizzo drilled an 0-2 fastball into the right field seats for his 21st home run with one out in the sixth.
That 358-foot blast cut the Yankees deficit in half and spelled the end for Garcia, who allowed one run on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
Ryne Stanek closed the sixth by getting Jose Trevino to ground out with two runners on before Hector Neris pitched a perfect seventh.
Rafael Montero surrendered a two-out bloop single to Giancarlo Stanton in the eighth before Astros closer Ryan Pressly retired the Yankees in order in the ninth for his 17th save. The Houston bullpen blew a pair of late-inning leads last weekend in the Bronx as the Yankees rallied for a pair of walk-off wins to split that four-game set.
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman provided the offense with a bases-loaded double in the third, plating Jake Meyers and Aledmys Diaz, who doubled and walked off Yankees right-hander Luis Severino (4-3).
Kyle Tucker, whose walk loaded the bases ahead of Bregman, tried to steal home while Severino struggled with his PitchCom device, but Severino recovered in time to throw home, where Trevino had the plate blocked before tagging out Tucker to end the frame.
Severino allowed two runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings.
--Field Level Media