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 gets the best of the Dodgers

Astros behind McCullers Jr. get shutout win in hostile Dodger Stadium

Yordan Alvarez added some big insurance runs against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Having dropped two of three in San Francisco against the league record-leading Giants over the weekend, the Astros exited an off day on Monday and entered a hostile environment at Dodger Stadium in the first of a two-game series on Tuesday night. With some timely hits and an excellent start from their starter, Houston would grab the win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Dodgers 0

Astros' Record: 65-42, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (9-2)

Losing Pitcher: Walker Buehler (11-2)

Houston scores first as McCullers Jr. out-duels Buehler

After nearly turning the game's very first pitch around for a home run but instead going foul, Jose Altuve still started the game with a single in the top of the first. A double play would erase him, though, as the game remained scoreless into the top of the third. Martin Maldonado led that inning off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch by Walker Buehler, then scored on an RBI double by Michael Brantley, putting Houston ahead 1-0.

Houston threatened again in the top of the fourth, getting two on with two outs, bringing up Martin Maldonado with an empty base, which the Dodgers would use by intentionally walking him to get to Lance McCullers Jr., who grounded out to strand all three runners. He made up for it on the mound, though, out-dueling Buehler, who finished six innings while allowing a run by getting into the seventh scoreless. He would get two outs into that frame while giving up a single and a walk, leaving two on base for Blake Taylor, who came in to get the third out. McCullers Jr.'s final line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 110 P.

Alvarez adds insurance as Astros take the opener in LA

Clinging to the one-run lead in the top of the eighth, Carlos Correa worked a one-out walk to bring Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who demolished a 415-foot two-run homer to add two big insurance runs, extending the lead to 3-0. Kendall Graveman took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth and, despite allowing a leadoff single and hitting a batter, was able to finish a scoreless inning.

With Ryan Pressly on the paternity list, Houston handed the ball to Ryne Stanek to close things out in the bottom of the ninth. He would get the job done, earning the save by retiring the Dodgers in order, giving the Astros the win at the dismay of the fans in Los Angeles.

Up Next: This short series's second and final game will begin thirty minutes earlier on Wednesday at 8:40 PM Central. For the Dodgers, they will get the debut of Max Scherzer (8-4, 2.76 ERA), while Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.30 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros.

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