Astros win their home opener

Astros daily report: Astros 3, A's 2

Astros daily report: Astros 3, A's 2
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Astros played their first game in front of the home crowd at Minute Maid Park on Friday night against the A's. Here's a quick recap:

Final Score: Astros 3, A's 2.

Record: 3-5, fourth in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Collin McHugh (1-1).

Losing pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1).

Star of the game: Carlos Correa has been very strong to start his season, and showed more of that strength tonight with a few great plays on defense then arguably the biggest hit of the night, the solo home run in the bottom of the fourth which gave Houston the lead they never relinquished.

Notes: After going scoreless the first two innings, the A's looked to strike first, getting a leadoff double in the top of the third before eventually loading the bases with two outs, but McHugh got a big strikeout of Khris Davis to end the threat. The Astros would take advantage, getting an RBI-single from Alex Bregman in the bottom of the inning to make it 1-0. A leadoff walk in the top of the fourth would bite McHugh after the runner advanced to third on a couple of groundouts then scoring on a two-out single to tie the game 1-1. Carlos Correa gave the Astros the lead right back in the bottom of the inning, though, with a solo home run to make it 2-1. Houston would load the bases in the same inning but left all three runners stranded. McHugh would hold on to the one-run lead, getting through six innings before Houston went to their bullpen in the top of the seventh to bring out Hector Rondón who threw a scoreless frame. The Astros extended their lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI-double from Jose Altuve, then Ryan Pressly held things with a scoreless eighth. Roberto Osuna, despite giving up a run to get the A's within a run, would get the save.

Up next: This series against Oakland will continue tomorrow night with first pitch at 6:10 PM. Wade Miley will get his second start for Houston while Aaron Brooks will be on the mound for the A's. Houston would take their first series of the year with a win.

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The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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