Houston gets back in the win column

Astros get best of Bauer, Dodgers to split series

Carlos Correa hit a go-ahead homer off of Trevor Bauer Wednesday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

After a demoralizing loss in the first of this two-game set, the Astros tried to split the series on Wednesday night by getting a win over Trevor Bauer and the Dodgers. They would get the job done, ending their four-game skid and taking one of the two games in this series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Dodgers 2

Astros' Record: 27-22, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (3-3)

Losing Pitcher: Trevor Bauer (5-3)

Altuve greets Bauer with a homer, Garcia tosses an impressive start

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Trevor Bauer took the mound in the bottom of the inning for the Dodgers. He was greeted by a leadoff solo homer by Jose Altuve, giving the Astros an early 1-0 lead. Garcia held the lead until the top of the third when he would have a lengthy inning, allowing an RBI single to make it 1-1. Garcia rebounded well from that lengthy inning, retiring the next nine batters in a row to complete six quality innings. His final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 HR, 100 P.

Astros split the series

He would end up in line for the win, thanks to Houston's second solo home run off of Bauer, this time Carlos Correa in the bottom of the sixth to give the Astros the lead back at 2-1. Houston extended their lead in the bottom of the seventh, getting an RBI single by Altuve then a two-run homer by Aledmyz Diaz to make it 5-1.

After a 1-2-3 top of the seventh by Brooks Raley, Ryne Stanek would finish the eighth though allowed a solo homer to cut the lead to 5-2. In the top of the ninth, Bryan Abreu would attempt the save and would get it by erasing two two-out walks. The win split the two-game set with Los Angeles and improved them to one game back of the A's for the AL West lead.

Up Next: The Astros will have a day off on Thursday, then will continue this homestand with the first of three games against the San Diego Padres on Friday at 7:10 PM Central. Framber Valdez will make his 2021 debut after starting the season injured, while the Padres are expected to start Dinelson Lamet (1-0, 1.64 ERA).

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Yordan Alvarez's homer in Wednesday's game gave him 100 RBI on the season. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Winners of three straight, six of their last seven, and eight of their last ten, the Astros had the chance to move yet another game closer to clinching their playoff spot if they could secure the series with a win against the Angels on Wednesday. Even though it looked as though they were headed towards a loss in extra innings, they would ultimately come out ahead.

Final Score (12 innings): Astros 9, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 91-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yimi Garcia (4-9)

Losing Pitcher: Sam Selman (0-1)

Garcia goes six shutout innings

Although he didn't have swing-and-miss dominance in this start, Luis Garcia could still capitalize on a struggling Angels offense and post a shutout quality start against them. He allowed three walks and three hits throughout his outing but stranded all of them while getting outs on balls in play. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 79 P.

Alvarez reaches 100 RBI as Houston's offense keeps rolling

That performance had Garcia in line for the win, as two homers handed him a 3-0 advantage which he held. Houston once again used early offense to take a first-inning lead, as a leadoff walk by Jose Altuve turned into a monster 456-foot by Yordan Alvarez, pushing him to 100 RBI on the season. The score held at 2-0 until the top of the fifth, when Jason Castro led that frame off with a solo homer to extend the lead to three runs.

Extras in Anaheim

Phil Maton was first out of Houston's bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, but a single, double, and walk loaded the bases with no outs to put him in a jam. A lineout kept the runners put for the first out, but a single and a walk would make it a one-run game and left the bases loaded as Maton would get pulled.

Kendall Graveman entered to try and stop the bleeding, but after a force out at home to put that within reach, Jack Mayfield came through for Los Angeles with a go-ahead three-run double, giving the Angels their first lead of the series at 5-3. In the top of the eighth, a walk by Alex Bregman brought Alvarez back to the plate, and he would nearly miss a game-tying homer and instead got an RBI-single to make it 5-4.

Alvarez would still come in to tie the game, hustling home from second on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to knot things up 5-5. Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he sat down LA in order with two strikeouts. Still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly came in to force extras, and despite being shadowed by the winning run on the bases after a leadoff single, retired the next three batters to send the game to the tenth.

Astros keep battling and take it in the twelfth

Jake Meyers took second base as Houston's free runner in the top of the tenth, but he would go nowhere as the Astros went down in order, giving the Angels another chance at a walk-off. Instead of giving Shohei Ohtani a free pass immediately, Houston would let Blake Taylor throw two balls to him before giving him the intentional walk.

Taylor then gave up a single to load the bases with no outs, and after getting a force out at home for the first out, Yimi Garcia would replace him. Thanks to a great play by Chas McCormick, giving him multiple in the game, the Astros would live to see another inning as he would make a great catch in right field and then throw out Ohtani at home.

In the top of the eleventh, a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel moved Aledmys Diaz to third, but that's as close as Houston would come, leaving them stuck at five runs. After Garcia retired three more batters in the bottom of the eleventh, the game moved to the twelfth, where Houston would get back in front on an RBI single by Jake Meyers, then padded the new lead on a two-RBI double by Jose Altuve, who would also score on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it 9-5. Josh James came in and wrapped things up in the bottom half as Houston secured the series victory and reduced their magic number to two against Oakland and three against Seattle.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series, and the last time these two teams will meet this year, will be an 8:38 PM Central start on Thursday. The expected pitching matchup is Alex Cobb (8-3, 3.59 ERA) for Los Angeles and Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.11 ERA) for Houston.

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