Aaron Nola delivered his best start of the season, Edmundo Sosa doubled twice and scored a pair of runs, and Kyle Schwarber homered as the visiting Philadelphia Phillies beat the Houston Astros 3-1 on Friday in a rematch of last year's World Series combatants
Nola (2-2) allowed one run on three hits and recorded six strikeouts over a season-high eight innings. He tossed 107 pitches, 72 for strikes, and breezed on the strength of his five-pitch mix.
The Astros mustered a game-tying home run from Jeremy Pena with one out in the bottom of the first inning and mounted a serious threat against Nola when they were trailing 2-1 in the fifth, but escaped with the lead intact
Pena clubbed his fifth home run the opposite way to right field, matching the Schwarber homer to right that gave the Phillies a short-lived 1-0 lead
Nola followed by retiring 11 consecutive batters, aided significantly right away when right fielder Nick Castellanos robbed Alex Bregman of a homer with a catch at the wall to close the first.
In the fifth, Jose Abreu and Corey Julks opened with singles, and Abreu took third when Phillies shortstop Trea Turner short-hopped his throw to first trying to get Julks
Nola benefitted then from another strong defensive play when first baseman Alec Bohm fielded Jake Meyers' grounder and erased Abreu at the plate. That was the first of 12 consecutive batters Nola retired to conclude his outing.
Schwarber, who homered off the Astros' Framber Valdez in Game 6 of the World Series, got the left-hander again with two outs in the first, drilling a 3-2 cutter 407 feet. Valdez was sharp otherwise, posting his fifth consecutive quality start, but he did struggle against the bottom of the Phillies' order
Sosa, Philadelphia's eight-place hitter, doubled and scored in the fifth when Cristian Pache followed with a double to right-center. Two innings later, Sosa doubled again and scored when Brandon Marsh, who pinch-ran for Pache when he departed with a right knee injury in the fifth, followed with a single to center.
Valdez allowed three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts over seven innings.
Phillies closer Jose Alvarado retired the side in order in the ninth with two strikeouts for his fifth save
--Field Level Media