Brantley’s slam highlights 10-run 6th as Astros down Chisox
HOUSTON (AP) — After the Houston Astros erupted for 10 runs in the sixth inning Friday night in a victory over the Chicago White Sox, manager Dusty Baker was asked to sum up the big frame.
“Boy,” he said before taking in a deep breath, “that’s as good of an inning as I’ve seen in a long time.”
Michael Brantley, whose grand slam was one of three homers in the inning that propelled the Astros to the 13-3 win, later added his take on the sixth.
“It was electric,” he said.
Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker also homered in the sixth on a night when the Astros hit five homers and tied a season high for runs.
“Hitting is contagious and nobody likes to be left out,” Baker said. “There are some guys that are behind schedule for their normal years. As you can see across the board with other games as well as ours, the offense is catching up and the scores are going up almost daily. This is the time when the hitters should start hitting.”
The game was tied at 3 in the sixth when Alex Bregman drew a leadoff walk, and he scored as Alvarez singled and right fielder Andrew Vaughn overthrew third base.
The Astros pushed the lead to 5-3 on an RBI double by Tucker that extended his hitting streak to a career-long 15 games, the longest active streak in the majors.
White Sox starter Lucas Giolito (4-3) plunked Yuli Gurriel before he was chased by a single from Aledmys Díaz. Matt Foster took over and was greeted by an RBI single from Chas McCormick that loaded the bases.
There were two outs when Brantley hit the third grand slam of his career to make it 10-3.
“At that point it came down to, he’d made so many good pitches, make one more good pitch to get out of the inning with three runs,” manager Tony La Russa said. “But once it got away, it got away.”
Bregman walked for the second time in the inning before Alvarez homered to right field.
Tanner Banks relieved Foster and Tucker homered homered to right field to cap the scoring in the inning. Gurriel singled before Díaz — who was the 14th batter of the inning — was retired to end it.
It is the first time Houston has scored at least 10 runs in an inning since getting 11 in the eighth against Minnesota on May 29, 2017, to rally for a 16-8 win.
Giolito allowed seven hits and a season-high eight runs in five-plus innings.
Houston starter Framber Valdez (7-3) yielded eight hits and three runs with seven strikeouts in six innings.
A two-run homer by Bregman in the first inning gave the Astros an early lead. A solo drive by Gurriel made it 3-0 in the second.
AJ Pollock tied in the third with his three-run homer before Houston broke it open in the sixth.
White Sox: 3B Yoán Moncada left the game in the third inning with tightness in his left hamstring. Moncada pulled up after running to first base on a groundout in the second inning and was limping slightly as he returned to the dugout. He remained in the game at third base in the bottom of the inning before being replaced by Josh Harrison in the third. The team announced his injury and La Russa said after the game that he didn’t have any more information on his condition. ... RHP Michael Kopech, who left his last start Sunday in the first inning with discomfort in his right knee, felt good after throwing a bullpen session Thursday and will start Sunday. ... La Russa said SS Tim Anderson (right groin strain) is expected to come off the injured list on Monday. Anderson was injured May 29 and is on a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr., who has been out all season with a forearm injury, threw off the mound to hitters before Friday’s game. McCullers threw about 27 pitches. There is no timetable for his return.
Houston Justin Verlander (8-2, 1.94 ERA) opposes Johnny Cueto (0-3, 3.53) when the series continues Saturday.
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