Familiar foe in new setting.
After 51 seasons in the National League, the Houston Astros were switched to the American League West a year ago. The Phillies and Astros played each other 566 times in the NL, plus the gut-wrenching five-game League Championship Series in 1980.
Now, the Phillies are playing the A.L. Astros for the first time, a three-game series starting tonight. Yep, interleague play is back.
Houston features a 5-foot-5 All-Star second baseman, Jose Altuve. He’s playing big in the A.L., leading the league in hitting (.339), hits (155) and stolen bases (43). The Astros are last in hitting (.239) but third in home runs (123).
Number of the Day
1: Phillies wins in nine interleague competition this year with eight more games on the schedule (other than Houston): Angels (2), Mariners (3) and A’s (3).
Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley won 5th in last 6 games, 7-1, over Durham. 3B Maikel Franco, 1B, 2B (25), 2 RBI. 2B Cesar Hernandez 2 hits, RBI. WP: Greg Smith (8-8).
Reading won, 5-1, over Harrisburg. WP: Adam Loewen (2-4). RF Kelly Dugan, 2 H, RBI. LF Zach Collier, 6th HR, 4 in last 3 games (13 AB). Began season with 2 HR in 181 AB.
Clearwater lost, 10-4, to St. Lucie. 3B Harold Martinez, 3 H, 2 RBI. CF Roman Quinn, 2 H, 23rd SB.
Lakewood won, 6-5, over Asheville. Every starter but 2B Andrew Pullin (0-4) had a hit. 5 different players drove in a run. WP: Aaron Baker (1-1), 3 hitless, scoreless relief IP.
Williamsport lost, 6-3, to Aberdeen. LF Jiandido Tromp, 12th HR; has homered in 3 straight games.
Gulf Coast League Phillies won, 11-6, at the Braves. LF Carlos Duran, 4 R, 3 H, SB. 2B Tom Zier, 4 H, 3 RBI. WP: Austin Davis (1-1)
August 5, 1921: KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcasts the first major league game, an 8-5 Pirates win over the Phillies at Forbes Field. Harold Arlin is the play-by-play announcer. His grandson, Steve, is the Phillies’ first-round selection in June, 1966, secondary phase.
August 5, 1975: Phillies set a major league record by getting eight hits in a row at the start of their first inning (four singles, two doubles, two homers) in a 13-5 romp over Chicago at the Vet. Ten-run first inning is Phillies’ biggest first inning since 1948.
August 5, 1977 : Seven-run eighth lifts the Phillies to an 8-3 win over visiting Los Angeles and into first place for the first time this season. Victory is manager Danny Ozark’s 400th.
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, 199 N. College Street, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.