Astros demolish Orioles for eighth straight win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 23-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After holding off the Orioles for their seventh-straight win in the series opener on Friday night, Houston had the chance to make it eight straight and secure another series win with a victory on Saturday night. Here's a quick rundown of the middle game:

Final Score: Astros 23, Orioles 2.

Record: 77-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Aaron Sanchez (5-14, 5.60 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Aaron Brooks (2-6, 6.35 ERA).

1) Clear for liftoff 

After being held to just three runs the night before, Houston's offense had their way with Baltimore on Saturday night. It started in the top of the first when Alex Bregman got the scoring started with a two-out two-run home run. On the very next pitch, Yordan Alvarez extended the early lead to 3-0 with a solo home run of his own.

They did even better in the top of the second, getting a five-run inning on RBIs from Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick, a two-run homer for Jose Altuve, and scoring on a balk. They scored again in the top of the third, a monster 474-foot home run by Carlos Correa to push the lead to 9-1. They didn't hold back there, putting up another four-run inning in the top of the fifth with RBIs from Correa and Yuli Gurriel and two for George Springer, extending the lead to 13-1.

2) Sanchez gets another win 

While his offense was bludgeoning pitchers on the other side, Aaron Sanchez was able to put together another decent start himself for his new team. It wasn't a six-inning no-hitter like his debut, but he was able to hold the Orioles to just one run over five innings of work.

The run came in the first inning, a rough one for Sanchez as he would load the bases with one out. He allowed a sacrifice fly to trim the lead to 3-1 at the time but would end the threat there. He faced more traffic in the second inning after a couple of walks and an error but would do well to keep the Orioles to just one run on the board.

After that, he was able to record three clean innings, allowing just one hit during that span on a two-out double in the fifth. The five innings put him in line for another win, making it two straight for his new team. Sanchez's final line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

3) Bullpen finishes the last four frames while runs keep scoring

With Sanchez's night done after five innings, Houston looked to their bullpen to maintain the massive lead over the final four frames. First up was Hector Rondon who took over for Sanchez in the sixth inning. He worked around a couple of hits to keep it a thirteen-run lead.

Houston was not done scoring in this one, though, getting another run in the top of the sixth to make it 14-1, then making it their highest-scoring game of the year with a six-run top of the seventh. They scored the first two on RBIs from Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick, then loaded the bases for Yordan Alvarez who blasted his second homer of the night, this one a grand slam to push Houston ahead to an incredible 20-1 lead.

Joe Smith was the next reliever out for Houston, taking over in the 20-1 game in the bottom of the seventh. He allowed a two-out solo home run to make it 20-2 but would get through the inning to send the game to the eighth. Chris Devenski pitched a scoreless eighth, then after an RBI by Aledmys Diaz in the top of the ninth, Yordan Alvarez hit his third home run of the night to set a new franchise records in runs in a game and trying the record for hits, pushing the lead to 23-2.

Collin McHugh wrapped things off in the ninth, giving Houston their eighth straight win and seventh-straight series victory.

Up Next: Houston will attempt the sweep of this series with the finale scheduled for 12:05 PM Central on Sunday. The Astros will send ace Justin Verlander (15-4, 2.68 ERA) to the mound with hopes to continue his march towards a Cy Young award, while the Orioles are expected to counter with Asher Wojciechowski (2-5, 4.89 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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