HOUSTON — — The Houston Astros wrapped up a nine-game streak against New York teams on Thursday night with another win over the New York Yankees.
Alex Bregman hit a two-point brace early and the Astros held on for the 2-1 victory.
Houston went 3-2 against the major league-leading Yankees and swept four games with the Mets, who had the second-best record in baseball before being passed by the Astros.
“It was a great win for the fans to watch and it was great for the city of Houston and it was great for my ball club,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We played well during that period. We beat two very good teams and played them in a short time and you don’t usually do that.”
The Yankees have managed just two combined points in three recent losses to Houston. That included a 3-0 loss Saturday where three Astros pitchers combined for a no-hitter.
“They’re good,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They’re one of the best teams to stop you scoring like there are. So they’ve done a good job, for the most part, of holding us back. That’s going to happen sometimes against good teams.”
The Yankees were in town for just one game to be part of a series that was scrapped because of the lockout. They will end the series with a doubleheader here on July 21.
Houston starter Luis García (6-5) allowed three hits and a run with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for his third straight win. Ryan Pressly struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his 17th save.
Jake Meyers doubled with no outs in the third before Aledmys Díaz walked with two outs. Kyle Tucker walked to charge the goals before Bregman’s brace to put Houston up 2-0.
The Astros had a chance to close the lead, but the inning ended in a weird play after New York starter Luis Severino’s PitchCom device malfunctioned.
With Yuli Gurriel at bat, a frustrated Severino took off his cap and held the PitchCom speaker to his ear, seemingly unable to hear catcher Jose Trevino’s instructions.
Tucker saw that Severino was distracted from third base and attempted to sneak home. Severino had the PitchCom earpiece in his right hand and had to maneuver quickly to get the baseball back into his throwing hand. He pitched home while still holding his cap, and his pitch narrowly beat Tucker and ended the inning.
“I saw him when he was halfway, but no one is faster than the ball,” Severino said.
Severino was asked to do the throw with the device and his cap still in his hands.
“I’m very good with my hands,” he laughed.
Boone loved the one-on-one game.
“Sevy didn’t panic and reacted the right way and made the play,” Boone said.
Baker thought it was a good chance for Tucker to take.
“If he throws that ball erratically, he’s safe,” Baker said. “I’m urging our guys to play aggressive and I thought he still had a chance to be safe. … It was a bold play that almost worked.”
Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer for the Yankees in the sixth inning, but they struggled to generate anything else on offense as they snapped a four-game winning streak.
Severino (4-3) drove in three hits and two runs in six innings.
The Astros were without slugger Yordan Alvarez and shortstop Jeremy Peña after the two were involved in a bad outfield collision Wednesday in a win over the Mets. Baker said the two are continuing to test for concussions and he doesn’t know how long they will be sidelined.
Garcia had struck out seven of the last eight batters he faced with three straight outs when Rizzo hit his 21st homer into right field to cut the lead to 2-1 and chase Garcia out with one out in the sixth. Ryne Stanek took over and Giancarlo Stanton greeted him with a single before Gleyber Torres walked with two out in the inning.
Stanek retired Jose Trevino for the third out to extend his scoreless innings streak to 20.
Yankees: LHP Aroldis Chapman (left Achilles tendonitis) will be activated from the injured list on Friday. Boone said Chapman, who hasn’t pitched to the majors since May 22, could be used in many ways, not just as the closest. “We’re going to pick spots and try to put him in places where he can be successful,” Boone said. “It could range from a high leverage situation to a medium leverage to low leverage situation.”
Astros: Bench coach Joe Espada, first base coach Omar Lopez and quality control coach Dan Firova all missed Thursday’s game due to health and safety protocols. Wladimir Sutil, who is Triple-A Sugar Land’s development coach, joined the team to coach first base.
Yankees: New York’s Gerrit Cole (6-2, 2.99 ERA) takes on Cleveland’s Aaron Civale (2-4, 7.20) in Game 1 of a three-game series between the Yankees and Guardians on Friday night .
Astros: RHP Cristian Javier (5-3, 2.73) takes on Los Angeles RHP Michael Lorenzen (6-5, 4.24) when the Astros and Angels open a three-game series Friday night. It’s the first start for Javier since hitting a career-high 13 in seven combined innings without a hit.