The Associated PressLOS ANGELES (AP) — The Astros are doing more than just getting by without injured Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.
Josh Reddick’s three-run homer highlighted Houston’s seven-run eighth, and the Astros routed the Dodgers 14-0 to hand Los Angeles its biggest shutout loss at home in 95 years Saturday night.
“It feels really good when you’re without your two big horses in the middle of your lineup and you can still do stuff like that,” Reddick said. “You can still do something special.”
The AL West-leading Astros pounded out 13 hits in winning their fourth in a row and stretching their lead to five games over Oakland.
“Pretty explosive night for us,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’re a little banged up so it’s important for us to just keep putting up wins. To shut them out feels good.”
The only blight on the Astros’ night was starter Lance McCullers Jr. leaving after 60 pitches because of right elbow discomfort. He allowed two hits over four innings in his first start at Dodger Stadium since Game 7 of last year’s World Series, won by the Astros.
McCullers will return to Houston on Sunday morning to be examined.
“I felt some abnormal soreness and stiffness that I wouldn’t feel during the game,” he said. “I couldn’t have felt any better to start the game, which is the most frustrating part.”
The Dodgers were limited to three hits in losing their fifth straight regular-season game to Houston since 2015. It was their worst shutout loss at home since July 22, 1923, when the Brooklyn Robins lost to Boston at Ebbets Field, according to Stats LLC.
“The game’s over,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. “I guess that’s the silver lining.”
The Astros batted around twice in the game, including the eighth when John Axford was charged with six runs in a rocky Dodgers debut after being acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline. Axford, a 10-year veteran, failed to record a strikeout on 27 pitches and hit left fielder Tony Kemp, forcing him to leave the game with a bruised right foot.
“It’s the worst outing of my entire career,” Axford said. “I wasn’t helping myself walking guys and hitting a guy. I have a little bit more to offer than what’s shown out there.”
Jake Marisnick ran for Kemp in the eighth and hit a two-run homer in the ninth. Houston fans began chanting loudly and the remaining Dodgers fans from the sellout crowd of 53,119 booed in an attempt to drown them out.