(Photo credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)
Jose Abreu smacked a two-run double and fill-in starter Jose Urquidy pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Phoenix.
Alex Bregman had two hits and scored a run for Houston (88-72), which won its second straight game. The Astros trail the first-place Rangers (89-70) by 1 1/2 games in the American League West, pending the outcome of Texas' Friday night road game against the Seattle Mariners (86-73).
In the wild-card race, the Astros trail the Toronto Blue Jays (89-71) by one game for the second spot. Houston leads the Mariners by 1 1/2 games for the third and final wild-card berth.
Gabriel Moreno had an RBI double for the Diamondbacks (84-76), who managed just four hits.
Arizona holds the second wild-card spot in the National League. The Diamondbacks lead the Miami Marlins (83-76) by a half-game and the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs, both 82-78, by two games.
Urquidy (3-3) gave up two hits and three walks while striking out two in a 70-pitch effort. He started in place of J.P. France, who was scratched from his start due to an undisclosed family emergency.
Phil Maton pitched a perfect seventh, Hector Neris worked out of a jam in the eighth, and Ryan Pressly allowed an unearned run in the ninth before recording his 31st save.
Arizona's Alek Thomas reached with one out in the ninth when Jose Altuve failed to glove his bouncer. Pressly then struck out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. before Moreno ripped a long drive high off the wall in left-center to score Thomas to get Arizona on the board.
Jace Peterson then hit a bouncer that Altuve fielded and threw to Abreu at first to end it.
Arizona ace Zac Gallen (17-9) allowed two runs and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
Bregman and Tucker reached on singles in the sixth before Abreu came up two outs and slugged a blast to straightaway center that hit high up the wall near the yellow line. The umpiring crew initially ruled it a three-run homer. However, a replay review concluded the ball didn't clear the yellow line. Abreu was awarded a double with Bregman and Tucker both allowed to score.
Arizona had runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth, but Tommy Pham grounded out to end the threat.
--Field Level Media