Astros shutout in Minnesota

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 1-0 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After big back-to-back wins to split the four-game series with the Indians in Houston, the Astros hit the road with game one of four against the Twins on Monday night. Here's a quick rundown and three hits from the game:

Final Score: Twins 1, Astros 0

Record: 17-12, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (3-2).

Losing pitcher: Justin Verlander (4-1).

1) No support for Verlander

Justin Verlander provided Houston another solid start, going six innings during which he allowed just one run on a solo home run to go with just one other hit, two walks, and striking out seven. The home run continued his streak of allowing one, a streak that has plagued him in every start this year, one in each of his seven starts. Still, six innings of one-run baseball shouldn't earn you a loss on most nights, but tonight it did, dropping his record to 4-1.

2) Bats can't crack Odorizzi or bullpen

Houston's offense could not string together enough hits to do any damage against Jake Odorizzi, allowing him to complete seven shutout innings during which he allowed just four hits, one walk, and struck out seven. They'd also have no luck against the bullpen, getting just one hit in the final two innings to go shutout in the game.

3) More solid innings from Houston's bullpen 

After Verlander's six innings, the Astros looked to their strained bullpen to keep them in the game. Hector Rondon took over in the seventh and threw a perfect inning. Framber Valdez, after earning a win in two great innings the night before, had the eighth and worked around a leadoff double to keep it a one-run game going to the ninth where the Astros would come up empty.

Up Next: Houston will have game two of this four-game set tomorrow night with first pitch at 6:40 PM. The Astros will send Gerrit Cole (1-4, 4.71 ERA) to the mound to try and improve his tough early numbers against Michael Pineda (2-1, 5.63 ERA) for the Twins.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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