Fisher, Morton lead Astros past Phillies 5-0
By AARON BRACY
Jul. 26, 2017
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Growing up 90 minutes from Philadelphia, Derek Fisher and his friends saw many great moments at Citizens Bank Park. On Tuesday night, with friends in attendance, it was Fisher who provided those moments.
Fisher drove in two runs just hours after arriving in Philadelphia and Charlie Morton pitched seven innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-0 victory over the Phillies.
Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to 17 straight games with a sixth-inning double to help the AL West-leading Astros improve to an American League-best 67-33. Houston is 9-0 in interleague play.
Houston suffered an injury for the second straight day, as Alex Bregman left with discomfort in his right hamstring after tripling and scoring in the third. On Monday, outfielder George Springer departed with a left quadriceps injury that resulted in Fisher's call-up.
"It's been a whirlwind," said Fisher, whose day started with an early morning flight from California, where he was playing with Triple-A Fresno.
At least he was coming somewhere that wasn't foreign. A native of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Fisher often made the 72-mile trek from his hometown to the Phillies' ballpark. He was among the crowd on Oct. 7, 2010 when Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS in a 4-0 win against Cincinnati and he attended games during Philadelphia's World Series championship season in 2008 with a friend whose family had season tickets.
"It's an awesome place," Fisher said.
The 23-year-old outfielder was making his second big-league stint, but first outing in center field, after playing five games with Houston in June.
He saved two runs in the first inning by robbing Odubel Herrera of extra bases by racing to left-center and snaring the ball with a lunging catch as he hit the wall. An inning later, he made an excellent catch that saved a run on a sinking liner by Nick Pivetta.
Fisher's two-run single to right in the sixth gave the Astros a five-run lead.
He did it all with high school coaches and teammates and other friends in attendance.
"It was a lot of fun to show them it's possible," he said. "Just continue having fun playing the game you love and good things can happen."
Philadelphia had four hits — all doubles — while dropping its major-league worst record to 34-64.
"Not much offense at all," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Morton (8-4) gave up three hits and struck out nine. The 33-year-old was signed by the Phillies before last season but played in just four games before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury.
Pivetta (3-6) allowed five runs and six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in six innings.
Pivetta was pitching well until the sixth when Houston managed four runs and five hits.
Altuve led off with a double down the right-field line and scored on Josh Reddick's RBI single. Marwin Gonzalez's RBI single made it 3-0 before Fisher's hit.
Altuve finished 1 for 4, dropping his average to .513 during his hitting streak.
Mackanin benched Herrera after the Phillies mercurial center fielder failed to run on a dropped third strike in the sixth inning. He also flipped the bat despite flying out to Fisher in the first, and took a questionable route on Bregman's ball that could have been held to a double.
"We'll have a conversation about it," Mackanin said. "We've had a few conversations. He's done an awful lot for us and he's still in the developing stage."
Morton's seven innings were his longest scoreless outing since Aug. 2, 2015 when he was a member of the Pirates. He said it was special performing well at Citizens Bank Park because his late grandfather, Bob Pfeilsticker, used to take him to games at Veterans Stadium, the Phillies' former home.
Philadelphia's Maikel Franco went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and is now hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
Astros: Springer was out of the lineup is day-to-day and manager A.J. Hinch said after the game that Bregman also is day-to-day.
Astros: RHP Mike Fiers (7-4, 3.59 ERA) takes the mound for the Astros on Wednesday night for the conclusion of the three-game series.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (7-6, 3.38 ERA) goes for Philadelphia.
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