Morton, Stassi lead Astros over Padres 4-1 for series win

HOUSTON (AP) Houston Astros right-hander Charlie Morton often marvels at the nameplates above the lockers in the corner of the clubhouse where his fellow starters sit.

Morton, the No. 5 starter on a pitching staff that is arguably the best in baseball, continued to dominate and Max Stassi hit a three-run homer as the defending champion Astros beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 on Sunday to win the three-game series.

''I feel really fortunate to be part of this staff,'' Morton said. ''I come to the park each day and I look at the wall over here - just the pitching staff that I'm on - I feel very fortunate to be part of it.''

Morton (2-0) allowed four hits and three walks for one unearned run while striking out seven in six innings. It was a nearly identical performance to his season debut, when he allowed three hits, two walks and no runs while striking out six in a 6-1 win over Baltimore. He also got the final 12 outs in Game 7 of the World Series against the Dodgers to help secure Houston's first championship.

On a rotation that includes Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Gerrit Cole, Morton became just the eighth Astros starter in franchise history to give up zero earned runs in his first two starts to a season. He extended his winning streak at Minute Maid Park to six games, including the postseason, a seven-start span in which he's 6-0 with a 1.09 ERA.

Stassi's first home run of the year bounced off the facade behind left field, scoring Josh Reddick and Marwin Gonzalez, who led off the fifth inning with singles.

''You always want to contribute to the team's win and it felt good,'' Stassi said. ''We haven't been swinging the bats like we normally can, but that's baseball. I know for sure we'll turn it around real quick.''

Reddick later added a solo home run, also off of Padres starter Tyson Ross (1-1), to push Houston's lead back to three runs after San Diego scored in the sixth.

Austin Hedges grounded into a fielder's choice to score Chase Headley for San Diego. Headley advanced to second on an error by Houston third baseman Alex Bregman.

Ross allowed four runs on six hits while striking out seven in six innings.

''I think there will be a lot more wins if I can throw the ball like that consistently versus the first game,'' Ross said. ''I've got some things to learn from this one and get better for next time.''

The Astros entered Sunday with just 10 hits in the first two games against San Diego, all singles.

Houston found a way to warm up the bats in what was the coldest first pitch in a regular-season game in Minute Maid Park history. The 52-degree temperature over the opened roof topped the previous coldest first pitch of 57 degrees, on April 8, 2007.

The Astros now head to Minnesota, where Monday's forecast calls for temperatures in the 30s.

''The elements are going to be horrible,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''It's just cold. There's no way around it. If they tell us to play, we're going to play.''

Brad Peacock pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save of the season. Houston's bullpen allowed just one base runner after Morton left the game after the sixth. Will Harris allowed a walk in the seventh inning, and Joe Smith and Peacock retired all three batters they faced.

The 2-8 Padres left eight runners on base.

''In some instances, we've gotten our pitch, we've just missed it,'' manager Andy Green said. ''Other instances, we've expanded the zone and put ourselves in bad situations trying to be too eager to hit. You just keep grinding.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: Reliever Kirby Yates will likely avoid the disabled list despite leaving Saturday night's game with a right ankle injury after throwing just one pitch. Green said Yates was still sore Sunday and wasn't available but would be re-evaluated on Monday. As the Padres' primary setup man, he has yet to allow a run in four appearances over 3 2/3 innings, striking out five.

Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel, on the disabled list after breaking his hand in February, had a double on Sunday in his rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi.

SPRINGER'S EARLY EXIT

Astros outfielder George Springer left Sunday's game with leg soreness and stiffening following an infield single in the fifth. Hinch said he was ''completely fine'' and ''probably should have stayed in the game'' and that Springer will likely serve as designated hitter on Monday.

HOT START

At 8-2, Houston matched its best 10-game start to a season, previously accomplished by the 1972 Astros. At the same point last season, the Astros were 6-4. Outscoring opponents 47-25 through 10 games, the Astros also have a much wider run differential than last season, when they started 38-40 through 10.

THEY SAID IT

''We didn't do a lot this series offensively, but we did enough to win the series. You can't complain too much about how you win as long as you win.'' - Hinch

UP NEXT

Padres: Clayton Richard (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will seek redemption in the first half of a two-game road trip Monday against Colorado. Richard was tagged for five runs on eight hits in five innings of a 5-2 loss to the Rockies last Wednesday.

Astros: Justin Verlander (1-0, 2.31) will start Monday for the opener of a three-game series in Minnesota. Verlander has allowed just three earned runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out 14 in 11 2/3 innings across his first two starts this season.

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123456789RHE
SD2-8
000001000140
HOU8-2
00003100X461
  • W: C. Morton (2-0)L: T. Ross (1-1)S: B. Peacock (1)
  • HR: HOU - J. Reddick (3), M. Stassi (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
C. Asuaje 2B20000201.250.341.306.6472.0
E. Hosmer 1B40000023.282.364.436.800-1.0
J. Pirela LF40000012.233.267.326.592-0.5
C. Villanueva 3B40000020.240.296.680.976-1.0
C. Headley DH21100110.071.235.071.3073.5
H. Renfroe RF40000003.185.267.296.5630.0
F. Galvis SS30200100.364.475.485.9603.0
A. Hedges C30010026.083.154.250.4040.0
a- C. Spangenberg PH10000000.227.261.591.8520.0
M. Margot CF40100012.135.200.216.4162.5
  • a-flied out for Hedges in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF30100011.205.289.359.6480.5
J. Marisnick CF10000010.167.167.417.583-0.5
A. Bregman 3B40000011.184.311.237.548-0.5
J. Altuve 2B40000000.368.419.421.8400.0
C. Correa SS30000020.310.353.621.974-1.0
J. Reddick RF32211010.346.452.6921.1447.5
M. Gonzalez 1B31100000.188.308.344.6512.0
E. Gattis DH30000012.212.297.333.631-0.5
M. Stassi C31131010.400.471.7331.2047.5
D. Fisher LF30100020.200.227.400.6270.0
    BATTING
    • RBI - A. Hedges (2)
    BATTING
    • HR - J. Reddick (3), M. Stassi
    • RBI - J. Reddick (7), M. Stassi 3 (5)
    • 2-Out RBI - J. Reddick (5)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - M. Margot
    FIELDING
    • E - A. Bregman (3)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    T. Ross (L, 1-1)6.06440725.251.176.5
    A. Cimber2.00000301.931.077.5
    PITCHERSIP
    T. Ross (L, 1-1)6.0
    A. Cimber2.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Morton (W, 2-0)6.04103700.001.0024.5
    W. Harris (H, 1)1.00001001.931.072.0
    J. Smith (H, 1)1.00000106.001.673.5
    B. Peacock (S, 1)1.00000100.000.3310.5
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Morton (W, 2-0)6.0
    W. Harris (H, 1)1.0
    J. Smith (H, 1)1.0
    B. Peacock (S, 1)1.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - T. Ross
    • Pitches-Strikes - T. Ross 107-70, A. Cimber 26-19
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - T. Ross 7-4, A. Cimber 3-0
    • Batters Faced - T. Ross 24, A. Cimber 6
    PITCHING
    • HBP - C. Morton (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 101-67, W. Harris 16-10, J. Smith 10-9, B. Peacock 8-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 8-4, W. Harris 1-1, J. Smith 1-1
    • Batters Faced - C. Morton 27, W. Harris 3, J. Smith 3, B. Peacock 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    SD2-8
    000001000140
    HOU8-2
    00003100X461
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    C. Asuaje 2B20000201.250.341.306.6472.0
    E. Hosmer 1B40000023.282.364.436.800-1.0
    J. Pirela LF40000012.233.267.326.592-0.5
    C. Villanueva 3B40000020.240.296.680.976-1.0
    C. Headley DH21100110.071.235.071.3073.5
    H. Renfroe RF40000003.185.267.296.5630.0
    F. Galvis SS30200100.364.475.485.9603.0
    A. Hedges C30010026.083.154.250.4040.0
    a- C. Spangenberg PH10000000.227.261.591.8520.0
    M. Margot CF40100012.135.200.216.4162.5
    Total3114104917-----
    • a-flied out for Hedges in the 9th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF30100011.205.289.359.6480.5
    J. Marisnick CF10000010.167.167.417.583-0.5
    A. Bregman 3B40000011.184.311.237.548-0.5
    J. Altuve 2B40000000.368.419.421.8400.0
    C. Correa SS30000020.310.353.621.974-1.0
    J. Reddick RF32211010.346.452.6921.1447.5
    M. Gonzalez 1B31100000.188.308.344.6512.0
    E. Gattis DH30000012.212.297.333.631-0.5
    M. Stassi C31131010.400.471.7331.2047.5
    D. Fisher LF30100020.200.227.400.6270.0
    Total3046420104-----
      BATTING
      • RBI - A. Hedges (2)
      BATTING
      • HR - J. Reddick (3), M. Stassi
      • RBI - J. Reddick (7), M. Stassi 3 (5)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Reddick (5)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - M. Margot
      FIELDING
      • E - A. Bregman (3)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      T. Ross (L, 1-1)6.06440725.251.176.5
      A. Cimber2.00000301.931.077.5
      Total8.06440102---
      PITCHERSIP
      T. Ross (L, 1-1)6.0
      A. Cimber2.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Morton (W, 2-0)6.04103700.001.0024.5
      W. Harris (H, 1)1.00001001.931.072.0
      J. Smith (H, 1)1.00000106.001.673.5
      B. Peacock (S, 1)1.00000100.000.3310.5
      Total9.0410490---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Morton (W, 2-0)6.0
      W. Harris (H, 1)1.0
      J. Smith (H, 1)1.0
      B. Peacock (S, 1)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - T. Ross
      • Pitches-Strikes - T. Ross 107-70, A. Cimber 26-19
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - T. Ross 7-4, A. Cimber 3-0
      • Batters Faced - T. Ross 24, A. Cimber 6
      PITCHING
      • HBP - C. Morton (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 101-67, W. Harris 16-10, J. Smith 10-9, B. Peacock 8-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 8-4, W. Harris 1-1, J. Smith 1-1
      • Batters Faced - C. Morton 27, W. Harris 3, J. Smith 3, B. Peacock 3
      • 6TH INNING
        Reddick homered to right14
        Hedges reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Headley scored, Renfroe to third, Galvis out at second13
      • 5TH INNING
        Stassi homered to left, Reddick and Gonzalez scored03
      • 9TH INNING
        • Brad Peacock relieved Joe Smith
        • F. Galvis: Galvis popped bunt out to first
        • Cory Spangenberg hit for Austin Hedges
        • C. Spangenberg: Foul, Ball, Foul, Spangenberg flied out to deep center
        • M. Margot: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Margot struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Joe Smith relieved Will Harris
        • C. Villanueva: Foul, Strike swinging, Villanueva fouled out to catcher
        • C. Headley: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Headley struck out looking
        • H. Renfroe: Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Renfroe grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • A. Cimber Pitching:
        • J. Marisnick: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Marisnick struck out on foul tip
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Bregman grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Altuve grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Will Harris relieved Charlie Morton
        • Jake Marisnick in center
        • C. Asuaje: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Asuaje walked
        • E. Hosmer: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Hosmer grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Asuaje out at second
        • J. Pirela: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Pirela fouled out to catcher
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Adam Cimber relieved Tyson Ross
        • E. Gattis: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul tip, Gattis struck out on foul tip
        • M. Stassi: Ball, Foul, Stassi grounded out to third
        • D. Fisher: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Fisher struck out looking
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • C. Villanueva: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Villanueva grounded out to third
        • C. Headley: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Headley hit by pitch
        • H. Renfroe: Renfroe safe at first on 3rd baseman Bregman fielding error, Headley to second
        • F. Galvis: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Galvis walked, Headley to third, Renfroe to second
        • A. Hedges: Hedges reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Headley scored, Renfroe to third, Galvis out at second
        • M. Margot: Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt to first, Foul, Margot reached on fielder's choice to second, Hedges out at second
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
        • T. Ross Pitching:
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Altuve flied out to center
        • C. Correa: Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Ball, Reddick homered to right
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Strike looking, Gonzalez grounded out to second
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Margot: Strike looking, Ball, Margot singled to left center
        • C. Asuaje: Foul, Strike looking, Margot stole second, Ball, Asuaje grounded out to first, Margot to third
        • E. Hosmer: Hosmer reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Margot out at home
        • J. Pirela: Strike looking, Pirela lined out to right
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • T. Ross Pitching:
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Foul, Reddick singled to center
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Gonzalez singled to right, Reddick to second
        • E. Gattis: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Reddick to third, Gonzalez to second on wild pitch, Strike looking, Gattis grounded out to second
        • M. Stassi: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Stassi homered to left, Reddick and Gonzalez scored
        • D. Fisher: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Fisher struck out looking
        • G. Springer: Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Springer reached on an infield single to second
        • A. Bregman: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Bregman reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Springer out at second
        • End of the 5th (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • C. Villanueva: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Villanueva struck out swinging
        • C. Headley: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Headley walked
        • H. Renfroe: Strike swinging, Renfroe popped out to shortstop
        • F. Galvis: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Galvis reached on an infield single to third, Headley to second
        • A. Hedges: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Hedges struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • T. Ross Pitching:
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Bregman struck out swinging
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Altuve grounded out to pitcher
        • C. Correa: Foul, Ball, Ball, Correa grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Margot: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Margot fouled out to first
        • C. Asuaje: Ball, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Asuaje walked
        • E. Hosmer: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Hosmer struck out swinging
        • J. Pirela: Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Pirela grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • T. Ross Pitching:
        • E. Gattis: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gattis flied out to left
        • M. Stassi: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Stassi struck out looking
        • D. Fisher: Strike looking, Fisher reached on an infield single to shortstop
        • G. Springer: Springer popped out to second
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • C. Villanueva: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Villanueva struck out on foul tip
        • C. Headley: Ball, Foul, Headley singled to center
        • H. Renfroe: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Renfroe reached on fielder's choice to third, Headley out at second
        • F. Galvis: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Galvis singled to right, Renfroe to third
        • A. Hedges: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, Strike swinging, Hedges struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • T. Ross Pitching:
        • C. Correa: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Reddick struck out on foul tip
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gonzalez flied out to left
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • C. Asuaje: Asuaje flied out to center
        • E. Hosmer: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Hosmer struck out swinging
        • J. Pirela: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Pirela struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • T. Ross Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Bregman grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Altuve: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Altuve grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)