July 23 (UPI) -- The Houston Astros posted 11 runs while limiting the Oakland Athletics to two hits in a dominant victory at Minute Made Park.
Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole allowed one run and two hits, while tossing 11 strikeouts in seven innings Monday in Houston. Cole also became the second-fastest pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw 200 strikeouts in a season. He reached the milestone in 133.1 innings, just behind Randy Johnson's record mark of 130.2 innings (2001).
Yordan Alvarez hit a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the second inning after a scoreless first frame. George Springer plated Josh Reddick for Houston's second run in the same inning. Jose Altuve walked with the bases loaded in the next at-bat, giving Houston a 3-0 lead. Astros shortstop Alex Bregman scored Aledmys Diaz on a ground out in the next at-bat for the final run of the inning.
Cole sent the Athletics back to the dugout in order in the top of the third inning. Yuli Gurriel then hit his 19th home run of the season in the second at-bat in the bottom of the frame, scoring Yordan Alvarez on the 396-foot bomb. Aledmys Diaz also hit a 3-run homer in the same inning, giving Houston a 9-0 edge. The Astros added two more scores in the inning, courtesy of RBI hits from Alvarez and Gurriel. Houston batted around the order in its seven-run third inning.
Cole allowed his only hits of the game in the next inning, surrendering doubles to Matt Chapman and Mark Canha. Cahna's two-bagger plated Chapman for Oakland's only run.
Athletics starter Home Bailey allowed nine runs and eight hits in two innings en route to his seventh loss of the season. Guriel went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored for the Astros. Robinson Chrinos also recorded three hits in the victory.
"We never really let [Bailey] breathe," Astros manager AJ Hinch told reporters. "We have a really long lineup when we get everybody back together. Carlos [Correa] is coming back pretty soon, too. When we put that kind of lineup together and that kind of approach, we can make it difficult on the pitcher. And he had nowhere to go when we were putting quality at-bat after quality at-bat. It was a good sight to see."
The Astros host the Athletics at 8:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Houston.