The Houston Astros‘ offense looks to be back on track.

After totaling 21 runs in their previous seven games Jimmy Howard Jersey , the World Series champs have scored in double-figures in each of their last two.

Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman each homered and Charlie Morton won his 11th as the Astros beat the Chicago White Sox 12-6 Saturday for their fifth straight win.

”I think we’re swinging the bats well and playing good baseball,” Bregman said. ”I think offensively, we have a done a good job of passing the baton to the next guy, and if we continue to do that, we will be successful.”

Morton (11-2) allowed five runs and five hits with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander has won four of his last five starts.

”I feel bad for Charlie because he got a little nickel and dimed at the end with a few soft hits and an ill-timed walk and then a well-placed, bases-clearing double,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. ”I thought his stuff was really good at the end. . That saying that he pitched better than the line indicates, that’s going to be the day today. Still a winning pitcher, still a guy that gave us a chance to win.”

James Shields (3-10) allowed a season high-tying eight runs on a season-high 10 hits with nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings for the White Sox, who have lost four straight. Shields had allowed one run over his prior two starts.

”Just wasn’t my day today,” Shields said. ”I’m just not really happy about not going deep in the game. I’m really trying to save this bullpen. These guys are taxed. I really wanted the ball and be that guy to go deeper in the game.”

Gurriel, who also had an RBI single in the eighth Jonathan Ericsson Jersey , hit a three-run homer to left field to increase Houston’s lead to 4-0 in the third inning.

Josh Reddick had a run-scoring fielder’s choice and Evan Gattis added an RBI single to push the Astros’ advantage to 6-1 in the fifth. However, Matt Davidson had an RBI single with the bases loaded and Omar Narvaez followed with a three-run double to pull Chicago within one in the sixth, chasing Morton.

Bregman’s two-run homer in the bottom of the inning extended Houston’s lead back to three.

”A 2-0 count, I was trying to get something over the middle of the plate,” Bregman said. ”I was fortunate enough to put a good swing on it.”

Bregman finished a triple shy of the cycle to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

”He’s doing everything right in the batter’s box as far as seeing the ball, his selectiveness, his approach is A-plus,” Hinch said. ”Bat-to-ball has been exceptional.”

Max Stassi hit an RBI double in the second and an RBI single in the eighth for the Astros. Marwin Gonzalez added an RBI single in the seventh as every Houston starter had a hit. Houston won 11-4 Friday night.

”It’s an excellent ball club, let’s face it they’ve got guys that swing the bat up and down the lineup,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said of the Astros. ”They’ve got an air of confidence that they play with, which comes with the things that they’ve accomplished. It’s natural.”

Avisail Garcia hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a solo home run on to the train tracks in left in the eighth for Chicago. Garcia has five home runs in his last six games.

TUCKER PROMOTED

The Astros promoted top prospect, outfielder Kyle Tucker from Triple-A Fresno. Tucker Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey , who was named to the Pacific Coast League’s All Star team, was hitting .306 with 14 home runs and 66 RBIs. He went 1 for 4 with a single and run scored in the seventh and an RBI walk in the eighth to go along with three strikeouts. The Astros optioned outfielder Jake Marisnick to Fresno in a corresponding move.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: SS Tim Anderson returned to the lineup. Anderson was out Friday after being hit on the left forearm the previous day. Anderson went 0 for 4 and reached on an error in the fifth.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (5-7) will make his 18th start of the season in the series finale. Giolito is 2-3 with a 7.50 ERA in his last eight stars and gave up nine runs in two innings in his last start against the Astros on April 21.

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (5-8) is looking for his third straight win. Keuchel allowed two runs over seven innings in his last start Tuesday against the Rangers.



Rick Spielman came to this year’s annual NFL scouting combine with a quarterback quandary.

He has two first-round draft picks trying to recover from injuries and a third-stringer, who led the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship game.

Now, instead of reaping the benefits of his smart moves and abundant riches, Spielman faces one of the most challenging decisions a general manager can with all three set to become free agents in less than two weeks.

”I believe in Case Keenum,” Spielman said Wednesday, the first full day of activity in Indianapolis. ”He did a phenomenal job and he has a knack for making big plays. We’re very excited about what he was able to accomplish.”

The more telling question might be how eager others around the league to sign Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford?

Spielman is running short on time as the carousel spins. He says he won’t make any decisions until he returns to Minneapolis next week.

Meanwhile, the offseason has started with a bang.

Alex Smith was traded from Kansas City to Washington, essentially assuring Kirk Cousins becomes a free agent. Blake Bortles and Jimmy Garoppolo each signed contract extensions with Garoppolo getting a reported five-year, $137.5 million deal. Garoppolo won his first five starts in San Francisco after a midseason trade from New England and is now 7-0 as a starter.

The new deals have Green Bay contemplating a new deal for Aaron Rodgers. New general manager Brian Gutekunst acknowledged ”it’s not going to be inexpensive.”

But this could be just the start to a wild and wooly offseason.

The free agent market opens March 14 and Keenum, Bridgewater and Bradford could all be attractive options for quarterback-needy teams.

Keenum seemed to find a home last year after spending two-plus seasons in Houston and two-plus seasons with the Rams.

Bridgewater was considered the Vikings’ next big star until he tore the ACL and dislocated his knee in August 2016. He made it back briefly late last season and now the Vikings await a ruling that could force Bridgewater to stick around one more season before hitting free agency.

Spielman doesn’t sound hopeful about Minnesota’s chances.

”I don’t personally believe Authentic Josh Allen Jersey , with what I know today, that his contract will toll,” he said.

One big advantage the Vikings have: They know Bridgewater’s prognosis and exactly where he stands in the rehab process.

Bradford, the 2010 NFL offensive rookie of the year, missed all but two games last season with a knee injury and there are long-term questions about the stability of his left knee. The 30-year-old has a long history of injuries but a needy team might be willing to take a calculated risk on the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner and top pick in the 2010 draft.

Other prominent names could be on the move, too.

Cousins and Mike Glennon are expected to be available after the Bears announced Wednesday they would release Glennon, and 39-year-old Drew Brees will be a free agent if he doesn’t re-sign with the Saints in the next two weeks. The conventional wisdom suggests Brees will remain in New Orleans.

Then there’s the trade market.

Coach Sean McDermott said Buffalo does not intend to cut Tyrod Taylor but could trade him. And if the New York Giants decide to rebuild with a young quarterback, 37-year-old Eli Manning could hear his name bandied about.

One team that seemed to take itself out of the discussion is reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia.

Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman appears to be in no hurry to change anything with starter Carson Wentz recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee, especially after backup Nick Foles led the Eagles to their first NFL title since 1960.

”We’re trying to keep as many good players as we can,” Roseman said. ”That room is exactly what we want it to be. We have a franchise quarterback, a Super Bowl MVP and we have a young quarterback (Nate Sudfeld) who we like.”