Sixteen punch outs were a career-high for the righthander.
PHOENIX (AP) — Gerrit Cole struck out a career-high 16 in a one-hitter and the Houston Astros routed the Arizona Diamondbacks 8–0 Friday night.
Cole (3–1) topped the strikeout mark of 14 he set three weeks ago against Texas and allowed only a one-out double to Chris Owings in the fifth inning of his second career complete game. The only other baserunner against the dominant right-hander was David Peralta, who walked to lead off the fourth.
Cole leads the majors with 77 strikeouts in seven starts, reaching double-digits in punchouts five times.
Gerrit Cole's fastest pitch of this season was the last pitch of his complete game... 99.3 MPH. Wow!— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 5, 2018
Most strikeouts by an Astros starter in a game:— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) May 5, 2018
1. Wilson, 18 (1968)
2t. Wilson, 16 (1968)
2t. Ryan, 16, (1987)
2t. Johnson, 16 (1998)
2t. Cole, 16 (2018)
Yuli Gurriel had four hits and drove in three runs for Houston. Carlos Correa doubled twice and drove in three for Houston. George Springer had three singles and scored three times, and Jose Altuve doubled twice and scored three.
Springer, Altuve, Correa and Gurriel—the top four batters in the Houston lineup—were a combined 11 of 19.
Arizona lost its third straight. The Diamondbacks hadn't lost two in a row all season before dropping games against the Dodgers on Saturday and Sunday.
The Astros, coming off three straight losses at home in a four-game series with the New York Yankees, pounded Kris Medlen (0–1) for seven runs on nine hits in four innings. Medlen, called up from Triple-A Reno to start for the injured Robbie Ray, has undergone two Tommy John surgeries and was making his first big league appearance in two years.
Houston jumped on Medlen from the first pitch, when Springer singled. Springer took second on a wild pitch and scored on Altuve's double. Gurriel brought Altuve home with a single and it was 2–0.
Houston added two more in the second. Medlen struck out the first two batters in the inning but Springer beat out a slow roller for an infield single and Altuve walked. Both scored when Correa doubled just inside the foul line in the right field corner. The Diamondbacks challenged that the ball was foul but the fair call was upheld and the Astros led 4–0 after two.
Houston got three more in the fourth on Altuve's RBI double and a pair of run-scoring singles by Gurriel and Josh Reddick.
Cole, meanwhile, breezed along, striking out nine of 10 batters in the second, third and fourth innings, with only Peralta's walk on a 3-2 pitch breaking up the streak of Ks.
Reddick's diving grab in right field retired Daniel Descalso for the first out of the fifth but Owings doubled to left to give Arizona its lone hit.
Descalso pitched for the final two outs in the ninth.
Cole struck out 14 on just 88 pitches through seven innings, even better than in his April 13 gem against Texas, when he did it with 91 pitches. No other pitcher since MLB began counting in 1947 has struck out 14 on 91 pitches or fewer.
Diamondbacks: 3B Jake Lamb (sprained left AC joint) will be shut down for a few days after inflammation in his injured right shoulder led to a cortisone injection on Thursday. There's still no timetable for Lamb's return.
Diamondbacks fans finally got something to cheer about in the top of the fifth inning when right fielder Jarrod Dyson made a leaping grab to rob Jake Marisnick of a home run. Replays showed the glove high above the top of the fence when the catch was made.
The Astros send RH Charlie Morton (4-0, 1.72 ERA) to the mound and the Diamondbacks go with RH Zack Greinke (3-2, 4.50) Saturday night in the second game of the three-game series.