Astros drop all four in Anaheim

Angels continue to out-slug Astros to complete four-game sweep

Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

With the Angles already locking up the series win by taking the first three games, including sweeping a doubleheader on Saturday, the Astros tried to salvage a game in the four-game set on Sunday. Here is how they did:

Final Score: Angels 9, Astros 5.

Record: 21-19, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Mike Mayers (1-0, 2.93 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-3, 3.61 ERA).

Astros score an early lead, Angels take it away immediately

Houston would continue bringing in runs in the first innings of games, taking an immediate 2-0 lead in Sunday's game after a one-out walk by Josh Reddick set up a two-run home run by Kyle Tucker. Aledmys Diaz extended the lead by one more run, hitting a solo home run in the next inning to make it 3-0.

Framber Valdez would falter in the second and third innings and give up that three-run lead, though, allowing three consecutive singles in the second to score run, then giving up three in the third on a two-run home run by Anthony Rendon and a sacrifice fly.

Astros tie as Houston leans on Valdez a bit too far

The game stayed 4-3 over the next few innings until the bottom of the sixth when the Angels would get another run on an RBI-single to make it 5-3. Carlos Correa got that run back immediately to lead off the top of the seventh, crushing a solo home run to make it a one-run game. The Astros went on to tie the game a few batters later thanks to an RBI-double by Abraham Toro, but despite having a runner on third with one out, they could not retake the lead in the inning.

Despite the tough middle innings and allowing the runs along the way, Valdez would give his team a much-needed lengthy outing on the mound, completing seven full innings before returning to the mound nearing 100 pitches in the bottom of the eighth. Leaving him out there would end up costing Houston, as he would allow three straight singles to start the inning to give the Angels another go-ahead run at 6-5 and end his day.

Angels complete the four-game sweep

Chris Devenski would enter out of Houston's bullpen, still no outs in the inning, and issued back-to-back walks to bring in another run. Los Angeles then blew it open with a two-RBI single to make it 9-5 before Brooks Raley would enter to get two strikeouts to finally put an end to the inning. The Astros would come up empty in the top of the ninth, giving Los Angeles the four-game sweep.

Up Next: Houston will travel up the California coast tonight to begin a five-game series with the A's over the next four days. The series will start Monday at 8:10 PM Central with Cristian Javier (4-1, 3.35 ERA) pitching for the Astros and Chris Bassitt (2-2, 3.72 ERA) on the bump for the A's.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Start your engines! Photo by Wiki Commons.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads for Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers 400. MIS is one of the fastest racetracks in the country, as cars are capable of reaching speeds of 201-205 miles per hour. Hopefully, we will see a safe race considering the speeds we see here. We will more than likely see a race that is vastly different from what we saw last here when the drivers utilized the draft to pass around this track. This year, the cars are less aero-dependent and will be much more spread out. The drivers will need to continue to manage their tires as they have been doing all year.

Last weekend at Indy, Tyler Reddick captured his second victory of 2022 in dramatic fashion. The race came down to numerous restarts where drivers would drive way too deep into the first corner and run into each other each time. This was the central theme of the race, as restarts pretty much decided everything. We saw drivers like AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney get swept up in wrecks in turn one. On the final restart, Ross Chastain decided he didn’t want to be a part of these shenanigans and took the access road that skipped turn one. This moved catapulted him to the lead with Tyler Reddick as the two battled for the lead in a two-lap shootout. When the dust settled, Reddick came away victorious and Ross Chastain was black flagged for shortcutting.

The finish of this race sparked a serious debate among drivers and fans alike about ditching the Indianapolis road course and returning to the oval in 2023. Personally, this doesn’t make any sense to me. While yes, turn one is difficult to maneuver, it’s mainly because drivers all decide to send it as deep as they can, not because of the racetrack configuration. It’s also a bit disingenuous as for years, drivers and fans have been saying they don’t want to see the oval and that the track is designed for IndyCar. If I had to choose, I would say NASCAR just stop going to Indy and go to the short track down the road at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. We have seen so many great races there, and I think the Cup Series would be perfect for that track. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how NASCAR responds to this and what they decide to do for next season.

Kurt Busch will be out for the third consecutive week as he continues to recover from a concussion. This has been tough to hear about, and now there are legitimate concerns that he will not return to racing. There is a good chance however that 23XII could be saving him for the playoffs which are coming up.

For now, Ty Gibbs will continue to fill in for Busch. In his two starts the young phenom has performed extremely well, finishing 16th at Pocono and 17th at Indy. It’s clear that this young man can drive these cars, the only problem is finding a place for him to run next season.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Martin Truex Jr. By any other standard, the season that Truex is having has been great. Constantly up front, leading laps and just overall contending. Unfortunately for him, 2022 hasn’t been just any average season. With 14 winners and Truex not being one of them, he is on the playoff bubble even though he is fourth in points. While his playoff future maybe uncertain right now, there are some good racetracks he is going to where can easily get that first win, and Michigan is one of them. Over the last four races here, he currently has the highest average finish, the highest percentage of laps led, but no victories. I see that changing this week. Toyota and Gibbs have been fast this season as Truex’s teammates have all punched their tickets to the playoffs. Look for Truex to be next in line.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome