Astros Close Out Yanks, 8-1
Five Astros Earn All-Star Nods

High fives all around
(c) McClatchy wires
On a day when the MLB-best Astros landed five players on the American League All-Star Game roster, a trio of unselected players paced Houston over the Yankees Sunday by an 8-1 score before 41,761 at Minute Maid. That's how deep this squad is.

Congratulations are in order to infielders Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve, pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers and outfielder George Springer for earning their selections. Correa, Altuve and Springer were voted onto the starting lineup. Keuchel was tabbed despite missing an entire month of action. The game will be held July 11th in Miami.

He probably didn't know it at the time, but Luis Severino was also named to the All-Star team. The Yankee pitcher, however, was pounded for six runs and nine hits in just 5-1/3rd innings. Marwin Gonzalez led off the scoring with a two-run homer (his 14th) into the Crawford Boxes. The Man With No Position is sporting a .975 OPS and is near a pace for 90 RBIs despite sitting out roughly 20% of the games just because the roster is so loaded with talent. Why is he not an All-Star?

Yuri Gurriel closed the scoring with a two-run homer of his own, the second in as many nights and 10th of the season. He's raised his average to .292 after a slow start. Chris Devenski fanned four of the six batters he faced, has an 0.77 WHIP and a 2.15 ERA - striking out 70 in 50 innings pitched. Why shouldn't Devo be an All-Star?

Okay, okay. I conveniently overlooked that Correa was 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs. And that Springer had two hits with Altuve one before both received early exits. Still those three are not the whole reason why this team has won so often. Particularly on offense, this is one stacked lineup.

Mike Fiers could only last four innings before he'd reached 100 pitches and was lifted for Devenski. He walked four and struck out seven in his four shutout frames.

To finish the final three innings took four wings and a prayer. Michael Feliz, James Hoyt, Ashur Tolliver and Dayan Diaz mopped up with Tolliver losing the shutout in the ninth on an RBI single by Chris Carter.

The Astros have concluded a 4-2 homestand and will take a day off before starting a holiday road trip in Atlanta Tuesday at the new SunTrust Park. New papa Brad Peacock (5-1) gets the Fourth of July nod against lefthander Sean Newcomb (1-2). The game starts at 6:35 Central. Houston will play two against their old nemesis before closing out the week with four in Toronto leading up to the All-Star Break.

- Bob Hulsey