Houston has now won eight straight

Astros complete four-game sweep of Rockies to extend winning streak

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After an offensive explosion the night prior, the Astros returned to Coors Field in Denver on Thursday afternoon, trying to complete the dual-city four-game sweep of the Rockies. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Astros 10, Rockies 8.

Record: 15-10, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brooks Raley (1-0, 7.45 ERA).

Losing pitcher: German Marquez (2-4, 4.38 ERA).

Plenty of early offense

After a scoreless first inning, Houston was able to pick up where they left off on Wednesday night, putting up big innings. In the top of the second, Kyle Tucker hit his second triple in the last two games, driving in the first run of the day to give the Astros the early 1-0 lead. They went on to score four more on RBI-singles by Martin Maldonado and George Springer and a two-RBI double by Jose Altuve.

Unlike Framber Valdez, who was able to translate his recent success to Denver's thin air, Cristian Javier would not have as great of a start. After a scoreless first, the Rockies tagged Javier with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second to get some of the runs back that the Astros scored in the top half.

In the next inning, Nolan Arenado cut the lead to two runs with a solo shot, making it 5-3. He would go on to finish the inning, but after two outs in the fourth would give the ball to Dusty Baker as Brooks Raley would come on to end the inning. Javier's final line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.

Houston reaches double digits again

Like in the second, Houston heated up again in the top of the fifth, starting with back-to-back singles by Altuve and Carlos Correa to start the inning. They would both score thanks to RBI-singles by Maldonado and Tucker, followed immediately by a three-run blast by Abraham Toro, giving the Astros five runs on three swings of the bat and extending their lead to 10-3.

Raley remained on the mound for the bottom of the fifth, allowing a leadoff double by Arenado to become a two-run home run by Ryan McMahon, his second of the game to trim the lead back to five runs at 10-5. He returned to face one more batter to start the bottom of the sixth, issuing a walk before Dusty Baker moved to Josh James.

James would suffer from some sporadic wind blowing the ball around, which caused Josh Reddick to misplay a fly ball that turned into a double, followed by a two-run double to make it a three-run game, 10-7. He would get three of the next four batters out, stranding two runners to end the frame, but would be yet another Houston player to come away injured, coming up hurt while running the last groundout to first base.

Houston completes the four-game sweep

Blake Taylor took over out of the bullpen for Houston in the bottom of the seventh, getting the first hitless inning for the Astros by working around a two-out walk. He faced one more batter, leading off the bottom of the eighth, but would allow a single to prompt another call to the bullpen. Enoli Paredes came in and was able to work around a two-out walk to strand both runners and maintain the three-run lead.

After the Astros were retired in order in the top of the inning, Ryan Pressly entered for the save situation in the bottom of the ninth. Pressly allowed a leadoff triple but would limit the Rockies to just one run, finishing off the four-game sweep and extending Houston's streak to eight games.

Up Next: Houston will remain on the road this weekend, traveling to San Diego for a three-game series with the Padres. The opener of the set will be on Friday at 8:10 PM Central with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 5.47 ERA) on the mound for the Astros while San Diego's starter is TBD.

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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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