Brandon McCarthy pitched a four-hitter and the Yankees avoided a three-game sweep, beating the Houston Astros 3-0 Thursday.
New York won for just the third time in 10 games. Chase Headley hit an early two-run double and the Yankees backed McCarthy with flawless fielding.
The Yankees' fans also made fine plays — sitting in the first row behind the Houston dugout, comedian Chris Rock wound up with a foul ball off the bat of Astros rookie Jon Singleton, and he gave the souvenir to a young boy as the crowd cheered.
McCarthy (5-2) outpitched Dallas Keuchel (10-9) as they both threw complete games without a walk. The Yankees had been shut out in McCarthy's previous two starts.
McCarthy struck out eight in his fourth career shutout and first this season. He was 3-10 with Arizona before being traded to the Yankees in July.
Keuchel gave up seven hits and struck out five.
The Astros had won three in a row overall. They were trying to become the first team to come into Yankee Stadium at least 20 games under .500 and sweep a series of three games or more since Milwaukee did it to close the 1972 season, STATS said.
The Yankees took a 3-0 lead in the second when a double by Martin Prado set up Headley's two-run double. Prado and Headley were the only two Yankees starters to previously hit against Keuchel.
Ichiro Suzuki added a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
Dexter Fowler hit a broken-bat double in the Houston fourth — the barrel reached the infield dirt, the ball two-hopped off the right-field wall — that put runners at second and third. Marc Krauss followed with a hard grounder off McCarthy's leg and, after taking a moment to locate the ball on the grass, the lanky pitcher zipped a throw to first that ended the threat.
McCarthy escaped another second-and-third jam in the seventh when Singleton struck out — right after hitting a foul pop to the third-base side that Rock recovered — and retiring Carlos Corporan on a flyball.