Best of 13?
Josh Reddick's three-run homer highlighted Houston's seven-run eighth, and the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 14-0 on Saturday night for their fourth straight win.
Houston's Lance McCullers Jr. left after 60 pitches because of right elbow discomfort. He allowed two hits over four innings in his first start at Dodger Stadium since Game 7 of last year's World Series, won by the Astros.
"Good pitching," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "Tonight, it started off with McCullers and really we couldn't get anything going. He came out of the game for some reason and then Peacock had our number for two innings. Then the game obviously spun out of control."
The Dodgers were limited to three hits in losing their fifth straight regular-season game to Houston since 2015.
"The compete is there, just the last couple of games it hasn't happened," said Roberts of the losing streak to the Astros. "It's not going to get any easier tomorrow against Gerrit Cole so we have to find a way to get some baserunners and put some runs across."
The AL West-leading Astros pounded out 13 hits and batted around twice in the game, including the eighth when John Axford was charged with six runs in a rocky Dodgers debut after being acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline. Axford, a 10-year veteran, failed to record a strikeout on 27 pitches and hit left fielder Tony Kemp on his right foot, forcing him to leave the game.
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"That was the worst outing of my entire career," said Axford after the game. "Not the best way to start."
Jake Marisnick ran for Kemp in the eighth and homered in the ninth. Houston fans began chanting loudly and the remaining Dodgers fans from the sellout crowd of 53,119 booed in an attempt to drown them out.
Brad Peacock (2-4) got the win with two innings of relief.
Marwin Gonzalez homered on the first pitch from Kenta Maeda (7-7) leading off the second for the Astros' first run.
Houston batted around in the sixth, extending its lead to 5-0.
Yuli Gurriel got things started with a two-run double that scored Reddick, who hit a ground-rule double to deep left center, and Alex Bregman, who walked.
"Gurriel snuck the ball down the line for the double and that changed everything," said Roberts. "After that it spun out on us."
After Maeda intentionally walked Gonzalez, Tyler White doubled to center field with the ball eluding a diving Chris Taylor. Gurriel scored and Gonzalez moved to third.
Martin Maldonado followed with a sacrifice to J.T. Chargois, who relieved Maeda, and Gonzalez scored for a 5-0 lead.
The Astros got to Axford right away in the eighth. Maldonado's ground-rule double scored two runs, pinch-hitter Evan Gattis added a sacrifice fly and George Springer had an RBI double for his lone hit in six at-bats.
"It's not like I was giving up a bunch of rockets," said Axford of the disastrous inning. "I wasn't helping myself walking a guy, hitting a guy, a bounce here or there and there's still runs on the board, but at least it looks a little nicer. I have a little bit more to offer than what was shown out there."
Reddick's three-run drive to right field came off Zac Rosscup, just off the disabled list, and made it 12-0. Reddick played for the Dodgers for the last part of the 2016 season.
Maeda gave up five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Japanese right-hander struck out four and walked two.
"He was really efficient," Roberts said of Maeda. "After the homer [to Gonzalez] I thought he was good...really that double to Gurriel is where the game got out of hand."
According to Stats LLC., the Dodges 14-0 loss was the largest shutout loss at home since July 22, 1923 when the then Brooklyn Robins fell to the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field.
The 14-run victory was also tied for the largest margin in a win for Houston this season.
Houston won the series opener 2-1 on Friday and could complete a sweep on Sunday when newly acquired reliever Roberto Osuna is expected to be activated. He is coming off a 75-game suspension for violating MLB's domestic violence policy.
Astros: Osuna pitched one scoreless inning for Double-A Corpus Christi on Friday, allowing one hit with one strikeout. ... INF Jose Altuve (right knee soreness) did some running and baseball activity. "A step forward but not a ton," manager A.J. Hinch said. "The key is the soreness after the activity."
Dodgers: Placed LHP Alex Wood on 10-day DL with left adductor tendinitis. ... RHP Ross Stripling (right big toe inflammation) tossed 30 pitches in a two-inning simulated game. He's expected to rejoin the team either Thursday or Friday in Colorado.
Former UCLA star Gerrit Cole (10-3, 2.55 ERA) starts the series finale for the Astros. Dodgers rookie right-hander Walker Buehler (4-4, 3.65 ERA) has never faced Houston.