The Astros pulled away for good with a seven-run eighth inning, highlighted by Josh Reddick's three-run home run. That helped Houston hand the Dodgers their largest shutout loss on their home field in 95 years. They recorded 13 hits on the night in their fourth straight win, maintaining their five-game lead on the Oakland Athletics, who beat the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, on Saturday.
Dating back to 2015, the Dodgers have now dropped five straight regular-season games to the Astros, as their new-look lineup compiled just three hits in Saturday's loss. They hadn't dropped a game this bad at home since July 22nd, 1923. John Axford made his team debut for Los Angeles and gave up six runs during the big eighth inning. Axford was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays at Tuesday's Trade Deadline. He did not record an out while throwing 27 pitches. The 10-year veteran also hit Tony Kemp with a pitch, which forced the outfielder to leave the game.
Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonazlez both went deep in the win for Houston, who tagged Kenta Maeda early to hand him his seventh loss. They batted around in the sixth inning to extend their lead to 5-0, as Yuli Gurriel had the big hit in that rally with a two-run double. Brad Peacock stepped in when McCullers went down, earning his second win after throwing two scoreless innings of relief.
Houston will get controversial reliever Roberto Osuna back from suspension for the series finale on Sunday. Osuna was acquired from the Blue Jays as well, despite him serving a suspension for a domestic violence incident that is still up in the air. He was last in court for a hearing on Wednesday, but beginning on Sunday, his focus will be back to baseball.