Astros win the series

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

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

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 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.

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Another win for the Coogs! Photo by Getty Images.

The Cougars were supposed to play a game in Tampa against The University of South Florida on Jan. 14th, but this contest was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the USF program. Houston was able to take advantage of the extra time off to rest their players and prepare for their next game against UCF.

Their previous game against the Knights in Orlando on December 26th was a close matchup which saw UCF and the Cougars tied at halftime. The second half was a back-and-fourth contest between the two teams, but Houston was able to come away with a nine point victory.

This game however was nowhere near as close and their previous meeting.

Houston immediately got off to a 12-0 start thanks to four straight 3-pointers from DeJon Jarreau (2x), Marcus Sasser & Quentin Grimes.

The Cougars continued to surge past the knights and at one point led 38-9 with 3:43 left to go in the contest.

Houston led 45-19 at halftime, their largest first half lead of the season.

The Cougars were able to maintain their commanding lead with both efficient scoring early on and elite level defense. Houston forced UCF to commit 20 turnovers that resulted in 22 points for the Cougars.

The Cougars won most of their games this season with commanding defense, dominating the boards and superior guard play. All three boxes were checked as Houston was able to secure a 75-58 victory.

UCF did outscore Houston in the second half 39-30, but the Cougars' lead proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to overcome for the Knights. Essentially, Houston was on cruse control the second half of the game and never saw their lead drop below double digits.

Grimes scored in double figures for his 11th straight game after opening the season with eight points against Lamar. Senior forward Justin Gorham scored a season high 15 points as well.

Houston has now won its fourth straight game since its loss to Tulsa and now remain in sole position of 1st place in the AAC.

The Cougars moved up from No.11 to the 8th ranked team in the country as multiple top-ranked teams suffered losses over the week.

Kelvin Sampson passed former Houston coach Tom Penders as he earned his 650th career win. This also moves him into sole possession of 41st place on the NCAA wins list. He is also the second winningest coach in Houston Cougars Men's Basketball history behind only the great Guy Lewis.

UP NEXT: Houston looks to exact revenge against the only team to defeat them this season as they host Tulsa at the Fertitta Center on Wednesday at 7pm.

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