Jason Castro hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning as the Houston Astros completed a two-game sweep of an interleague set against the host New York Mets with a 2-0 victory on Wednesday.
Castro, who entered the game hitting .095 with one RBI, belted his first home run of the season into the right field bleachers against Drew Smith (1-2).
New York had just one baserunner after the first inning and has lost three straight for the first time this season.
The game featured a dynamic pitchers’ duel between Houston’s Justin Verlander (10-3) and New York’s Taijuan Walker, along with a scary collision in the eighth inning.
Verlander allowed two hits over eight shutout innings in his first start at Citi Field since 2010. He walked one and struck out six.
Ryan Pressly retired New York in order in the ninth for his 16th save. Houston won four straight against the Mets over the past eight days by a combined score of 24-6.
Astros left fielder Yordan Alvarez and shortstop Jeremy Pena both exited the game after colliding in the eighth inning.
The players collided on a fly ball to shallow left field hit by Dominic Smith. Pena made the catch but hit Alvarez in the face during the collision. Alvarez remained on the ground for several minutes but was able to stand on his own power before exiting the field on a cart.
The Mets had runners on the corners with two outs in the first before Jeff McNeil struck out to end the inning. After throwing 21 pitches in the first inning, Verlander settled in and retired the next 11 batters in order.
Houston put runners on the corners with two outs in the seventh, but Walker extinguished the threat when Castro grounded out to second.
Walker departed in the eighth inning after retiring leadoff hitter Jake Meyers. He allowed four hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 7 1/3 scoreless innings in his longest outing of the season.
Edwin Diaz replaced Walker and hit Jose Altuve with a pitch before giving up a single to Pena. Diaz escaped the jam by striking out Alvarez and Alex Bregman.
–Field Level Media