Astros complete sweep of Mariners for ninth straight win

Astros daily report: Astros 3, Mariners 2

Astros daily report: Astros 3, Mariners 2
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After locking up the series win on Saturday, the Astros looked for the sweep and their ninth straight win on Sunday afternoon. Here's how things shook out:

Final Score: Astros 3, Mariners 2

Record: 11-5, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (1-2).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Brennan (1-1).

Star of the game: Michael Brantley was the only Astro able to get a hit off of Marco Gonzalez through the first five innings, then came through with one of the biggest hits of the day with his game-tying two-run single. He finished the day two for four with the two RBIs.

Notes: Seattle extended their crazy streak of consecutive games with a home run by taking a 1-0 lead on a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning off of Gerrit Cole. They extended their lead to 2-0 with a couple of doubles in the third. Meanwhile, Houston was only able to get one hit off of Marco Gonzalez through the first five innings. In the top of the sixth, they'd load the bases with one out after three singles, bringing Michael Brantley to the plate who came through in the clutch with a two-RBI single to tie the game. Despite the two runs allowed, Cole still had another good outing, finishing six innings with eleven strikeouts and the two runs on four hits and no walks. The Astros took their first lead of the day in the top of the seventh thanks to a line drive solo homer from Aledmys Diaz, making it 3-1 Houston. Hector Rondon was first out of the pen and worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, followed by Ryan Pressly who did the same in the eighth. Roberto Osuna came in for the ninth and preserved the one-run lead for his seventh save of the season, pushing the Astros to nine straight wins and completing the series sweep.

Up Next:Houston will get the day off tomorrow before starting a short two-game series against Oakland on Tuesday night. First pitch will be at 9:07 PM and will feature Collin McHugh for the Astros going up against Franke Montas for the A's.

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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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