Astros Sweep Orioles and Lead A.L West by 10 Games
Going into Memorial Day, the Houston Astros were on top of the American League West with a record of 35-16, good for a 10 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers, who were tied for 2nd place. That record is also the best in baseball.
The Astros swept a three game series at home over the Baltimore Orioles on May 26-28th. Houston won the first game 2-0, and won the second game 5-2. In that game, pitching ace Dallas Keuchel returned from the 10 day disabled list and didn’t miss a beat. He allowed one run and four hits in six innings of work, striking out eight and walking two in picking up his eighth victory of the season. Keuchel is 8-0 with a 1.81 ERA. After an off year last season, when he was 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA, the lefthander is back in 2015 form, when he was the American League Cy Young Award winner with a 20-8 record and a 2.48 ERA.
Houston had a big six run second inning followed by two more runs in the third to beat Baltimore 8-4 in the final game of the set. Right Hander Lance McCullers Jr. won his sixth game of the season against only one loss. George Springer hit his 11th homer of the season.
Second baseman Jose Altuve is hitting .300 with seven homers, 24 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. That’s actually a bit of a slow start for him; last year he hit .338 with 24 home runs and 96 RBIs, with 30 stolen bases. In 2014 he hit .341 and stole 56 bases. He won the A.L. batting titles in both those years, and has become more of power guy as well. Expect Altuve to put up some bigger numbers as the season progresses, although the Astros are doing fine at his current not too shabby pace.