Houston has won three straight

Astros' bats erupt against the Angels to secure series win

Houston's bats teed off on Saturday. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After taking the first two games of this series, including in dramatic fashion with a three-run tenth-inning rally for the walk-off win Friday night, the Astros tried to make it a three-game winning streak and secure the series with a victory over the Angels on Saturday.

They would get the win, and dominantly, as their offense would explode throughout the day to back up an impressive debut by Kent Emanuel:

Final Score: Astros 16, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 10-10, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Kent Emanuel (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Griffin Canning (1-2)

Odorizzi exits with injury, Emanuel impresses in his impromptu debut

The ballgame would start with some misfortune for Houston, as after just one batter and one out, Jake Odorizzi would exit with forearm tightness. That set up Kent Emanuel for his major-league debut. He would give up two solo home runs, one to the Astros-terrorizing Albert Pujols in the top of the second and one to Shohei Ohtani in the top of the third.

Emanuel would settle in well after those early homers, retiring ten batters in a row after the Ohtani homer keeping Los Angeles at bay, heading to the seventh inning. In the top of the seventh, he erased a leadoff single for another scoreless frame, then followed that up with a scoreless eighth. He came back out for the ninth, and despite the first two batters reaching base, would finish off the impressive debut: 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 90 P.

Houston's offense erupts

Luckily for him, though, Houston's offense was doing damage against Griffin Canning over that same span. Carlos Correa set the tone early with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the first before Houston would put up two more runs to grab an early lead. The top of the order repeated their success in the bottom of the third, with Correa and Michael Brantley reaching base to set up a three-run homer by Alex Bregman to make it a four-run lead at 6-2.

They kept punishing Los Angeles' pitchers in the bottom of the fourth, batting around the order and putting up four more runs on RBI hits by Jason Castro and Yuli Gurriel, extending the lead to 10-2. The train kept moving in the next inning, with a three-RBI triple by Yordan Alvarez to make it an eleven-run game, 13-2.

With the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth, Los Angeles brought in a position player to try and get through the rest of the game on the mound. Kyle Tucker took advantage, launching a two-run opposite-field homer to make it 15-2 before Jason Castro would bring in another in the inning, making it a fourteen-run lead, which would go down as the final score to give Houston a three-game winning streak.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series will be Sunday at 1:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 5.27 ERA), who had to miss his last scheduled start with illness, will be back on the mound for Houston, going opposite of Dylan Bundy (0-2, 4.50 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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