Cristian Javier strikes out 14 as Astros shut down Angels

Cristian Javier became the fourth pitcher in club history with consecutive starts of 13-plus strikeouts as the Houston Astros rolled to an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

Javier (6-3) anchored a combined no-hitter of the New York Yankees with seven shutout innings on June 25. He was equally effective against the Angels, allowing one run on one hit while recording a career-high 14 strikeouts over seven innings. Javier walked one batter and posted 13 strikeouts in his previous start and became the first Astros pitcher since Gerrit Cole to strike out at least 13 batters in consecutive starts. Cole accomplished the feat in September 2019.

Javier lost his bid for another hitless outing three batters into his 11th start when Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani launched a 3-2 slider into the upper deck in right field for his 18th home run. Javier had punched out Taylor Ward and Mike Trout before Ohtani delivered the Angels a 1-0 lead with his 394-foot blast. Ohtani would be the lone baserunner against Javier.

Javier struck out Luis Rengifo and Max Stassi to open the second inning and sandwiched strikeouts of Trout and Jared Walsh around an Ohtani groundout in the fourth. He caught Brandon Marsh, Ward and Walsh looking with called third strikes to end the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to extend his streak of consecutive frames with at least two strikeouts to 12.

Javier recorded 23 swinging strikes, while tossing 99 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Yuli Gurriel and Jake Meyers slugged solo homers off Angels right-hander Michael Lorenzen (6-6) to secure the lead in the bottom of the second. Houston erased all drama with a six-run third that featured an RBI double from J.J. Matijevic that extended the lead to 4-1. Meyers followed with a two-run single that scored Gurriel and Matijevic before Chas McCormick cranked the Astros’ third homer of the night, a two-run shot the opposite way to right that plated Meyers.

Gurriel and McCormick both clubbed their seventh home runs while Meyers socked his first.

Lorenzen allowed eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts over three innings.

The Astros have won nine of 11 games.

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