Charlie Morton set a new single-game standard for strikeouts while Brian McCann and Evan Gattis slugged home runs in support as the Houston Astros evened their three-game, weekend series with the Texas Rangers with a 6-1 victory on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
Morton (5-0) recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts, posting double-digit strikeouts in a start for the third time this season. He did not walk a batter and allowed just four hits over seven innings, with Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman accounting for the lone run with a solo homer to right field with two outs in the third inning. Morton surrendered a double to the ensuing batter, Delino DeShields, but recovered to punch out Shin-Soo Choo to end the threat.
Choo, left fielder Joey Gallo and second baseman Rougned Odor were a combined 0-for-10 with nine strikeouts against Morton, who fanned 12 batters over six innings against Texas on April 14, a game the Astros lost 6-5. He posted 10 strikeouts against the Yankees on April 30.
Morton struck out the final two batters of the first inning, the first two batters of the second and struck out the side swinging after Jurickson Profar reached on a leadoff single in the fifth.
The Astros trailed 1-0 after the Guzman blast, but that deficit was short-lived. Gattis followed a leadoff double by Josh Reddick in the bottom of the third with an RBI single to center, pulling Houston even against Rangers right-hander Doug Fister (1-4). An inning later, McCann slugged his third home run of the season into the home bullpen in right-center, pushing Houston to a 2-1 lead. Gattis added a solo homer, his second, with one out in the fifth.
Fister allowed three runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa bashed his sixth home run in the eighth inning off Rangers right-hander Tony Barnette, a two-run, 439-foot shot to straightaway center field. Houston played without outfielder George Springer for the first time this season. Springer remains sidelined after being hit by a pitch on the left elbow in the third inning on Friday night.
—Field Level Media