HOUSTON (AP)Carlos Correa drove in two runs with a double to back up a strong start by rookie Brandon Bielak, and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
Bielak (3-0) allowed one hit and one run in six innings for the win in his third MLB start. The 24-year-old, who made two relief appearances before moving into the rotation, walked four and struck out four.
Brooks Raley took over for Bielak and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings. Josh James got the last two outs of the eighth before Blake Taylor allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his first major league save on his 25th birthday.
”It was just one of days where I felt like nothing could go wrong,” Taylor said.
Manager Dusty Baker was impressed with the work his young pitchers did on Monday night.
”The more they do it at this level the more confident they become,” he said. ”We’re putting them out there and they’re doing the job.”
Denver manager Bud Black raved about Bielak’s performance against his team.
”Their young starter continued his early career performance with a nice outing,” Black said. ”We just couldn’t solve him.”
George Springer hit a leadoff double before Alex Bregman grounded into a forceout that left Springer out at second for the second out of the inning. Yuli Gurriel singled before Correa’s grounder rolled down the third base line and into left field for a double to score two and give Houston the early lead.
The Rockies have dropped four of their last five games and six of the last eight.
Houston has won six of its last seven games after losing five in a row to move into second place in the AL West.
”The offense is slowly starting to click,” Correa said. ”This homestand has been great for us. The confidence is going up.”
There were two outs in the third inning when Trevor Story extended his hitting streak to nine games with his homer off the wall in center field to cut the lead to 1.
The Rockies didn’t get another hit until Charlie Blackmon singled on a ball which hit Taylor on the thigh to start the ninth inning. Taylor was checked on by Houston’s trainers after being hit but was OK and remained in the game.
Denver starter Kyle Freeland (2-1) yielded seven hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings. It is the first time the Rockies have lost a game Freeland started this season after they won the first four games he started.
Rockies: Reliever Carlos Estevez had an X-ray on his right hand that revealed that nothing was broken after he was hit on the back of his hand by a comebacker in Sunday’s game. Estevez traveled with the team to Houston and Black said he will not go on the injured list, but he was not available to pitch on Monday night.
Astros: DH Yordan Alvarez missed his second straight game with a sore right knee after making his season debut on Friday after missing the start of the season following a coronavirus diagnosis. Baker said Alvarez had an MRI on Monday and the results were negative, but he is unsure when Alvarez will return.
The Rockies placed C Elias Diaz on the restricted list on Monday and Black said it was because he ”violated team protocols, some guidelines,” but would not provide any other details.
Houston’s Zack Greinke (1-0, 2.53 ERA) will oppose Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 3.91) on Tuesday in Houston before the series shifts to Colorado for two games. Greinke got his first win of the season in his last start when he allowed one run in a season-high 6 1/3 innings against San Francisco.
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