HOUSTON (AP) — Aaron Nola pitched eight smooth innings, Kyle Schwarber homered and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 on Friday night in a rematch of last year’s World Series.
Nola (2-2) yielded one run and three hits with six strikeouts. The right-hander retired 11 straight during one stretch and then the final 12 batters he faced. Nola had allowed at least three runs in each of his previous five starts this season.
Schwarber hit a solo home run in the first before Jeremy Peña answered in the bottom half with one of his own.
Cristian Pache gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fifth with an RBI double, and Brandon Marsh added an RBI single in the seventh.
José Alvarado worked the ninth for his fifth save.
Mauricio Dubón’s 20-game hitting streak was snapped for Houston. He went 0 for 4.
Framber Valdez (2-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. The All-Star lefty won Games 2 and 6 of the 2022 World Series as the Astros beat Philadelphia for their second championship. Valdez gave up two runs over 12 1/3 innings in those two starts.
The Astros had a chance to tie it in the fifth with runners on the corners and nobody out, but Jake Meyers hit a slow dribbler to first and José Abreu was thrown out at the plate. Nola retired Rylan Bannon and Martín Maldonado to end the threat.
HOME RUN ROBBERY
Nick Castellanos robbed Alex Bregman of a solo home run in the bottom of the first, leaping against the right-field wall and snagging Bregman’s long fly before it could land in the first row of seats for the final out of the inning.
After catching the ball, Castellanos fell to the ground and sat against the wall for a few seconds, leaving many wondering if he had caught it. But he stood up and tossed the ball to Pache as they ran off the field.
Phillies: Pache left in the fifth with a right knee injury and will be evaluated further. After leading off second base, he appeared to slip as he was going back to the bag. He limped back to the base and was eventually replaced by Marsh.
Astros: OF Yordan Alvarez (neck stiffness) was out of the lineup for a fourth straight game. But he was doing better and remained day-to-day, manager Dusty Baker said. … OF Chas McCormick (lower back) will start a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi on Saturday. … OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder) started his fourth rehab game with Triple-A Sugar Land.
Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler (2-1, 4.73 ERA) starts Saturday opposite RHP Cristian Javier (2-0, 3.21) in the middle game of the series.
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