Astros close road trip with shutout

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Lance McCullers Jr._473278

Houston Astros’ Lance McCullers Jr. delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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MIAMI, FL (AP) — Lance McCullers paid tribute to the late Jose Fernandez and pitched like him, allowing no earned runs for the third start in a row, as the Houston Astros beat the Marlins 3-0 in Miami to complete a three-game sweep.

McCullers (4-1) wore cleats with Fernandez’s initials and uniform number. Their friendship began when they were high school pitchers in the Tampa area, before Fernandez became the Marlins’ ace and then died in a boating accident last September.

McCullers limited Miami to three hits in six innings and lowered his ERA to 2.65.

The 29-12 Astros have the best record in the majors and their fourth consecutive win lifted them 17 games above .500 for the first time since 2004.

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