Astros take series opener on a rainy Philadelphia night

Houston crushes Philadelphia in series opener
The disparity between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros right now is huge and the AL West leaders showcased their superiority in Monday's 13-4 win at a soggy Citizens Bank Park.

Jose Altuve hit a two-out, two-run two-out single to spark a fourth inning rally as the Astros put the contest out of reach scoring five runs in the frame.

Brian McCann and Alex Bregman hit back-to-back homers in the second off Phillies starter and former Astros righty Vince Velasquez to give Houston a 3-1 advantage before the skies opened in the top of the fourth. Bregman finished the night 3-for-5, with three runs and three RBIs.

"They hammer mistakes," Velasquez said. "McCann hit that fastball over the middle. I can't leave it over the middle like that. It cut right over the middle, right into his barrel. Bregman is just a great, great hitter. Just what he's done, coming up in the league, he's been phenomenal. Hitting the ball where it's placed. It just carried out to right."

Following a delay of nearly two-hours the Astros bats remained hot, clubbing reliever Ricardo Pinto for five more runs to push their lead to 8-1. Houston finished with 18 hits, marking the 11th time this season it's had 15 or more.

"This team is hot," Velasquez said. "They're in first place for a reason. They're very selective. A lot of missed pitches inside, away, they poked it down the line. These guys are in the zone. They're locked in."

The two teams resume their three-game set on Tuesday as Nick Pivetta is slatted to face veteran Charlie Morton.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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