Astros win the series
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-1 win
The Astros had one more game on the road before returning home; a rubber game in the three-game series with the Indians in Cleveland. A win would end their road trip with their fourth-straight series win. Here is how the game shaped up:
Final Score: Astros 7, Indians 1.
Record: 70-40, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (13-5, 2.87 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Danny Salazar (0-1, 4.50 ERA).
1) Springer starts things with a bang
George Springer hits a leadoff homer for the 1 millionth time in his career. pic.twitter.com/61cRRUx3DJ
— MLB (@MLB) August 1, 2019
George Springer did not welcome Danny Salazar back to a major-league mound with an easy out. Instead, Springer launched the third pitch of the game for a dinger to put Houston up 1-0 immediately. That would be the only run scored through the first three innings, with the next coming off the bat of Alex Bregman with a solo home run of his own to double the lead at 2-0.
Springer would come around to score again later in the game, working a one-out walk in the top of the seventh. He moved to second on a single by Jose Altuve, then scored on an RBI-double by Michael Brantley, making it a 3-1 Houston lead. That brought Bregman back to the plate, and he delivered an RBI-single to extend the lead further to 4-1, and also put him a triple shy of the cycle.
2) Not a lot of Ks, but still another terrific start for Cole
While Gerrit Cole did not increase his league-best strikeout number by as much as usual on Thursday night, it didn't mean his start was any less successful. Cole allowed just one run, which after putting runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the fourth, was a gift.
He received some terrific defense behind him, both with a great catch by Springer on a sac fly that could've been more runs, then on a laser from Josh Reddick on another fly ball to throw a runner out at home to end the inning and the threat.
Getting some quick non-strikeout outs allowed Cole to go another deep start, finishing seven innings for the sixth time in his last seven games, and making it four straight seven-inning one-run starts. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4K, 0 HR.
3) Taking the series win
Houston's offense battled again in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with one out to set up a sacrifice fly for Michael Brantley, his second RBI of the night to extend the lead to 5-1. After Bregman worked a walk to load the bases again, Yordan Alvarez drove in two more runs on a two-RBI double to make it 7-1.
With Cole's night done after his seven innings, Houston turned things over to their bullpen to close out the win. Hector Rondon would get a couple of quick outs but then loaded the bases, prompting another call to the bullpen. Joe Smith would get out of the jam to end the eighth, then Chris Devenski closed out the win with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Up Next: The Astros will fly back to Houston tonight to start a three-game series with the Mariners at home tomorrow night. The series opener will begin at 7:10 PM and the expected pitching matchup is Wade Miley (9-4, 3.06 ERA) for Houston going against Yusei Kikuchi (4-7, 5.21 ERA) for Seattle.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.