Houston can complete the sweep

ALDS Game 3 Preview: A's vs. Astros

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With the 5-2 win over the A's in Game 2, the Astros remained undefeated in the 2020 MLB postseason. If Houston can improve to 5-0 with a Game 3 victory, it will mean a clean sweep of the A's in the ALDS, advancing them to their fourth-straight ALCS to face the winner of the other ALDS between the Yankees and Rays. Here's how the game shapes up:

Game Facts

When: Wednesday October 7th, 2:35 PM Central.

Where: Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles, California.


Streaming: Watch TBS App.

Pitching Matchup: Jesús Luzardo vs. Jose Urquidy.

Series: HOU leads 2-0.

Series Schedule

Date & TimePitching MatchupHome Team

Game 1Astros 10, A's 5Lance McCullers Jr. (ND) vs. Chris Bassitt (ND)A's
Game 2Astros 5, A's 2Framber Valdez (W) vs. Sean Manaea (L)A's
Game 3Wed 10/7, 2:35 PMJesús Luzardo vs. Jose Urquidy
Game 4*Thu 10/8, 2:35 PMTBD vs. TBD
Game 5*Fri 10/9, 2:35 PMTBD vs. TBDA's

All games played at Dodger Stadium.

* If necessary

Game Storylines

Keep swinging away and letting it fly

The baseball has been flying out of Dodger Stadium in a hurry so far in this ALDS, with eleven total home runs, six in Game 1 and five in Game 2. Six of those have been by the Astros, three in each game. They'll face Jesús Luzardo, who was on the mound twice against the Astros in the regular season, combining for 12.2 innings while allowing four earned runs as Oakland would win both of those games. He didn't, however, face this lineup as hot as they are right now.

Even though he hasn't had his trademark leadoff dinger to start the game, George Springer has been raking so far in this series. Springer is 6-for-9 against Oakland so far with four RBI and fresh off his two-homer day in Game 2. If he can stay hot to lead this offense, they can go toe to toe with anyone as they continue to have one of the best top-to-bottom lineups in the league.

Keep throwing strikes and trust the bullpen

In ALWC Game 2 against the Twins, Urquidy made the start and, despite allowing only one run, was given an early hook by Dusty Baker in the fifth inning at just 76 pitches. In his last four starts of the regular season, he was able to go 7.0 innings twice and 6.0 innings twice, including a six-inning, two-run, 88-pitch start against the A's on September 10th in Oakland. If he can replicate that success and pass the ball to the bullpen deep into the game, that will be ideal for Houston.

Speaking of the Astros' bullpen, they have been terrific in this series's first two games. After Lance McCullers Jr. allowed five runs (one unearned) and lasted just four innings in Game 1, four of Houston's relievers were able to avoid giving up any more earned runs in their five innings of work. Framber Valdez flipped that script in Game 2, going seven frames with two relievers finishing off the win. Unfortunately for Houston, with Enoli Paredes having pitched in both games, he will likely be unavailable for Game 3, but they still have plenty of arms available to contribute if needed.

Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise

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Houston loses in San Francisco

Astros drop back-and-forth middle game to Giants to even series

Houston's offense couldn't keep up with the Giants on Saturday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With the impressive win in the opener to start the series, the Astros entered Saturday's middle game against the Giants with an opportunity to not just secure the series but surpass San Francisco for the best record in the league. They'd have to wait to take that crown, as the Giants would out-slug the Astros to even the series.

Final Score: Giants 8, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 64-41, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jay Jackson (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-3)

Teams trade blows early, Giants chase Greinke out early

The teams traded blows early in this one, with the Giants tagging Zack Greinke with six runs, all on homers. The first was a solo shot in the bottom of the second to start the scoring before hitting one in each inning through the fourth: two-run blasts in the third and fourth, then a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, putting them ahead 6-5 at the time. Greinke would face one more batter, allowing a single to end his lackluster day: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4 HR, 93 P.

Houston's offense kept things close to try and keep Greinke in a position to win, going up 3-1 in the third on a two-run Aledmys Diaz homer and another coming in on an error. After San Francisco scored four unanswered to make it 5-3, Diaz homered again in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one run before Yuli Gurriel would tie it with an RBI double.

Astros stay in it, but Giants even the series by winning the slug-fest

With Greinke exiting with no outs in the fifth, Houston handed the ball to Phil Maton, acquired in the recent Myles Straw trade, to make his debut for his new team. He worked himself into a jam, allowing a single and hitting a batter to load the bases with one out, but was able to get back-to-back strikeouts to strike out the side and strand all three runners, keeping it a one-run game.

That proved pivotal in the top of the sixth, as with two outs, Martin Maldonado would launch a game-tying solo homer, making it 6-6. Blake Taylor took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning but would face just three batters, getting two outs while leaving one on as Dusty Baker moved on to Cristian Javier. Javier would watch the Giants retake the lead, getting back-to-back singles to bring in a run and make it 7-6.

Javier stayed in the game in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it by striking out the next three batters. Still a 7-6 game in the bottom of the eighth, Yimi Garcia made his Astros debut but did not keep the score there, allowing a leadoff solo homer to make it a two-run game. The 8-6 score would go final as Houston's offense came up empty again in the top of the ninth, setting up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The series finale will get underway at 3:05 PM Central on Sunday in San Francisco. Luis Garcia (7-5, 3.19 ERA) will take the mound for Houston, going opposite Logan Webb (4-3, 3.36 ERA) for the Giants.

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