Astros complete the sweep for sixth straight win

Astros daily report: Astros 8, Yankees 6

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston was looking to make it a clean sweep on Wednesday night against the Yankees. Here's how the game panned out:

Final Score: Astros 8, Yankees 6

Record: 8-5, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Collin McHugh (2-1).

Losing pitcher: James Paxton (1-2).

Star of the game: No surprise here, Jose Altuve hammered two solo homers tonight to make it three straight games with a home run, proving that he's completely back in the zone after his late-season injuries last year held him back.

Notes: The Yankees came out swinging early, getting a game-leadoff home run off of Collin McHugh to take an immediate 1-0 advantage. The Astros responded right away, though, with Jose Altuve getting a solo home run to make it three straight games and tie things up at 1-1 before Yuli Gurriel put Houston in front 2-1 with an RBI-triple. Carlos Correa extended the lead further in the bottom of the third, knocking a ball to the right field fence for an RBI to make it 3-1. The Yankees battled back, getting a couple of no-out hits in the top of the fifth, followed by a sac fly to trim the lead to one at 3-2, but McHugh did well to limit the damage there and keep Houston ahead. Altuve struck again in the bottom of the fifth, another solo shot to make it 4-2. The train kept moving in that inning, with Carlos Correa blasting a two-run home run of his own to extend the lead to 6-2, then Jake Marisnick getting a two-out RBI-single to make it 7-2.

McHugh would finish six innings of two-run baseball, getting nine strikeouts in another good showing in his early season. Chris Devenski pitched a scoreless seventh, then Josh James took over in the eighth, allowing a two-run home run to get the Yankees within three at 7-4 and put two more on base without recording an out. That prompted A.J. Hinch to go to Hector Rondon, who would also struggle, allowing a single and sac fly to get the Yankees within one at 7-6. Ryan Pressly entered to get the last out of the eighth and ended the Yankees rally for that inning. The offense provided some insurance in the bottom of the inning with Marisnick leading things off with a single then scoring on an RBI from George Springer to give a little cushion at 8-6, making things somewhat less stressful for Pressly who came back in for the save in the ninth.

Up next: The Astros will get the day off tomorrow before starting a big three-game series against the division-leading Mariners on the road in Seattle this weekend. Friday night's game will get underway at 9:10 PM Central and will feature Wade Miley on the mound for Houston opposite Wade LeBlanc for Seattle.

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The Astros have assigned left-handed reliever Matt Gage to minor league camp, which means Houston's pitching staff is likely to head into the season without a lefty in the bullpen.

Ronel Blanco and Seth Martinez are expected to be the last two pitchers in the Astros bullpen now that Gage isn't expected to fill a spot on the club. With the Astros playing so many games in the month of April, could we see Blanco or Martinez making some starts with Lance McCullers still on the shelf?

Plus, should the Astros check in on Yuli Gurriel for some depth considering his versatility and the loss of Jose Altuve for the first couple months of the season? Gurriel still hasn't been added to the Marlins 40-man roster, which means he can opt out of his deal on Saturday if nothing changes.

Based on how things played out for Carlos Correa, the guys aren't very confident the Astros would change their stance on Yuli. But you never know.

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