Astros pick up the series win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After ending their three-game skid on Tuesday night, the Astros were back in action on Wednesday night with Justin Verlander on the mound to try and win the rubber match with the Twins. Here are some quick facts from the game and three hits:

Final Score: Astros 7, Twins 1

Record: 15-9, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (4-0).

Losing pitcher: Kohl Stewart (0-1).

1) Verlander's dominant, efficient start

After four straight games of allowing runs to the opposing team, Justin Verlander was able to break the streak and get through a scoreless first. After three quick innings to start the game, the Twins did get a run off of Verlander via a solo home run in the top of the fourth, but he would settle right back in and pitch deep into the game, completing eight innings of one-run baseball including eight strikeouts.

2) Another big offensive night

Carlos Correa started the scoring with an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the second to put Houston ahead 1-0. Then, after a two-out double by Alex Bregman in the bottom of the third, Michael Brantley took advantage with a two-run homer of his own to extend the lead to 3-0. The Astros extended their lead to four runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-double from Robinson Chirinos who would eventually score on a wild pitch to make it a 5-1 game. Josh Reddick added a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, hitting a two-run homer to extend the lead further to 7-1.

3) Back in the series win column

After splitting the two-game series in Oakland then dropping the series to the Rangers last week, the win on Wednesday night gave Houston their fourth series win of 2019. The Astros will get four more games against these same Twins on the road in Minnesota next week, so taking care of business at home could provide momentum for the encore series.

Up Next: The Astros will stay in Houston and kickoff a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians tomorrow night. First pitch is at 7:10 PM and will feature former UCLA-teammates Gerrit Cole (1-3, 5.22 ERA) and Trevor Bauer (2-1, 2.20 ERA) going against each other.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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