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HOUSTON (AP) — Martín Maldonado homered twice and Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick added a home run each as the Houston Astros built a big lead early and didn’t let up in a 9-1 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

The Astros followed up their 8-1 win in the opener with another lopsided victory to extend their winning streak to five games.

Houston starter José Urquidy (7-3) yielded two hits and a run with eight strikeouts in six innings to improve the team’s starters to 7-0 in the last nine games. This was the fifth straight game where the Astros allowed no more than one run.

The Astros were already up 3-0 when Maldonado, who had just one hit in his previous four games, connected off Patrick Sandoval (3-3) to start the second inning.

Houston led by four in the sixth when Maldonado hit the first pitch from Andrew Wantz over the wall in straightaway center field to make it 6-1. It was the fourth multi-homer game of Maldonado’s career and his first since 2019.

Four pitches later, Altuve gave Houston back-to-back homers when he hit an opposite field shot to the seats in right field.

Aaron Loup took over for Wantz to start the seventh and was greeted with Tucker’s home run to right field. There were two outs when McCormick homered for the second consecutive game with his drive that extended the lead to 9-1.

Taylor Ward hit a solo home run in the third for the Angels, who continue to struggle offensively. Mike Trout went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts and is 0 for 7 with seven strikeouts in this series.

Sandoval allowed eight hits and five runs while tying a season-high with nine strikeouts in five innings for his second straight loss.

Yordan Alvarez, named AL player of the month Saturday, returned after missing two games following a nasty outfield collision with Jeremy Peña Wednesday. He went 0 for 4 with a walk.

Tucker singled to score Altuve and put Houston up 1-0 in the first. Yuli Gurriel walked to load the bases before a single by Jake Meyers scored two to make it 3-0.

Maldonado opened the Houston second with his shot to the train tracks atop the left field wall.

Altuve, who had three hits, doubled and stole third base with one out in the inning. He scored on Alex Bregman’s two-out single to make it 5-0.


Angels: Los Angeles signed INF Jonathan Villar, who was designated for assignment by the Cubs earlier this week. C Matt Thaiss was optioned to Triple-A to make a spot on the active roster for Villar and RHP Archie Bradley (elbow fracture) was moved to the 60-day injured list to make a spot for Villar on the 40-man roster.

Astros: Pitching coach Bill Murphy entered health and safety protocols. He joined bench coach Joe Espada, first base coach Omar Lopez and quality control coach Dan Firova, who entered the protocols Thursday. Minor league pitching coordinator Eric Niesen joined the team to fill in for Murphy.


Houston LHP Framber Valdez (8-3, 2.65 ERA) opposes LHP José Suárez (1-2, 4.36) when the series concludes Sunday.


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Mets legend Keith Hernandez roasts Phillies with broadcast request

It should come as no surprise that New York Mets legend (and current broadcaster) Keith Hernandez does not have a soft spot in his heart for the Philadelphia Phillies.

However, when Hernandez chose not to travel to the City of Brotherly Love for an upcoming New York Mets broadcast and told why, well, don’t expect Phillies fans to give him a warm welcome next time the two teams meet.

Hernandez, who has color duties on SNY, will actually miss the next two series between the Mets and Phillies. The first, this coming weekend when Philadelphia takes a trip to Citi Field, Hernandez will be in St. Louis celebrating his Cardinals roots as the franchise honors the 40th anniversary of the 1982 World Series team. The second, however, when New York make the return trip to Philadelphia, is a different reason altogether.

SNY broadcaster Keith Hernandez will miss the next two series between Mets and Phillies

“It’s a scheduled off series,” Hernandez said during Tuesday night’s telecast. “I’ve expressed to the front office — not the Mets front office, our front office at SNY — that I hate doing Phillies games, so I guess they gave me the series off.”

Hernandez, who has had some interesting moments as an SNY broadcaster, also didn’t hold back on exactly why he doesn’t enjoy calling Phillies-Mets games.

Keith Hernandez just said on the Mets broadcast that he has asked SNY not to make him call games against the Phillies because he doesn’t like watching them play.

“As far as fundamentally and defensively, the Phillies have always been just not up to it.”

— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) August 10, 2022

Hernandez admits that the Phillies “are hot right now” and “I would like to see them,” but it just doesn’t seem to overcome his past experiences with Philadelphia baseball. Entering Wednesday’s play, the Phillies have won six in a row and nine of their last 10 games. Philadelphia sits 10.0 games back of the Mets in the National League East, but holds one of the NL Wild Card spots.

Here’s the entire SNY segment with the entire explanation from Hernandez.

Here’s video of Keith Hernandez explaining why he hates calling Mets games against the Phillies.⚾️????

— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 10, 2022

New York and Philadelphia don’t meet again in the regular season after next weekend, so Hernandez may not have to see Phillies baseball again until 2023 … unless the two teams collide in the NL postseason.

Next: 3 Mets who wont be on the roster by September 1

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