Astros power past Twins to end three-game skid

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: Astros 10, Twins 4

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The Astros were back at it on Tuesday night looking to end their three-game skid and get back in the win column against the Twins. Here's how things shook out:

Final Score: Astros 10, Twins 4

Record: 14-9, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Hector Rondon (2-0).

Losing pitcher: Trevor Hildenberger (2-1).

Stars of the game: George Springer should have had a 3-for-3 night, but Angel Hernandez struck to make his last at-bat a controversial strikeout. Nonetheless, Springer was 2-for-3 with two big RBIs and two walks that helped push the Astros to their win.

Notes: For yet another game, Houston saw their starting pitcher put themselves in a big hole early, with the Twins getting a three-run home run off of Wade Miley in the top of the first to go up 3-0. The Astros went to work against Michael Pineda in the bottom of the third, getting the first two batters on base to set up an RBI-single from George Springer, but would ground into a double play before stranding a runner to only come away with one run. Springer knocked in another run in the bottom of the fifth, another RBI-single to make it a one-run game at 3-2, then Alex Bregman came up clutch with a two-out two-RBI single to give Houston their first lead at 4-3. Wade Miley did great after his rough first inning, finishing six innings only allowing the three runs on the homer in the first. Hector Rondon was first out of the bullpen in the top of the seventh, and after two quick outs allowed back-to-back hits to tie the game 4-4.

After loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh, Alex Bregman came through again with a sac fly to put the Astros ahead again at 5-4. Michael Brantley added an insurance run after that, extending the lead to 6-4 before a bizarre play at the plate where Carlos Correa instinctively reached out and grabbed a wild pitch that resulted in the inning ending. Ryan Pressly took over on the mound for a scoreless eighth inning, then the Astros added a ton of insurance runs on an RBI from Jake Marisnick then later a three-run bomb from Jose Altuve to extend the lead to 10-4. With the game in a non-save situation, Will Harris took over in the top of the ninth to close out the win for Houston to get them back in the win column.

Up Next: Houston will wrap up this three-game series with Minnesota tomorrow night at 7:10 PM. The Astros will have Justin Verlander (3-0, 3.00 ERA) on the mound while the Twins have not yet named a starter.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston drops first of three

Mariners heat up late to take series opener over Astros

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With the playoffs just a little over a week away, the Astros started their last week of regular-season games in Seattle against the Mariners. A couple of wins against them would secure Houston's spot as the AL West's second playoff participant, with Oakland all but having locked up the first spot sitting six games in front of Houston with seven left to play. Here is a quick rundown of the opener from T-Mobile Park:

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 1.

Record: 27-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Marco Gonzalez (7-2, 3.06 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA).

Bitter end to an impressive start for McCullers Jr.

Both starting pitchers would take a scoreless deep late into Monday night's game. While the Astros were trying to figure out Marco Gonzalez, Lance McCullers Jr. was repeating the success of his last start, a seven-inning two-hit start against the Rangers.

McCullers Jr. allowed a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning, then proceeded to retire the next fourteen batters before a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth gave the Mariners their first hit of the night. He would go on to finish the sixth before things unraveled in the seventh.

A leadoff walk would result in a run after an error by Jose Altuve left runners on first and second, setting up an RBI-double to give the Mariners the first run of the night and a 1-0 lead. McCullers Jr. looked like he was going to cap off his night by stranding the runners on second and third after back-to-back strikeouts, but before he could get the last out of the inning allowed a three-run home run to blow the game open at 4-0. His final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 102 P.

Mariners take the opener

Despite getting several hits against him along the way, Houston could not get anything substantial going against Gonzalez, who would shutout the Astros over eight innings of work. After Enoli Paredes finished the seventh, Brandon Bielak would take over out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth.

He struggled mightily, loading the bases with no outs, including a hit batter before allowing a two-RBI single to extend Seattle's lead to 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the top of the ninth, getting a two-out double by Carlos Correa, who would score on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick. That would be too little, too late as the 6-1 score would go final as the Mariners took the opener, keeping the Astros' magic number at two.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will be another 8:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. On the mound will be Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA) for the Astros and Ljay Newsome (0-1, 6.35 ERA) for the Mariners.

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