Houston starts the weekend with a win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 5-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After wrapping up a 3-1 series win against the Tigers to start the week, Houston sported their "Player's Weekend" uniforms in the series opener against the Angels at home to start the three-game weekend series. Here is a recap of the opener:

Final Score: Astros 5, Angels 4.

Record: 83-47, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (14-4, 2.83 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jose Suarez (2-5, 6.67 ERA).

1) Houston builds up a lead in the middle innings

Houston was able to get on the board in the bottom of the third, cutting the Angels' lead in half at 2-1 after an RBI-single by Jose Altuve. They tied the game in next inning on an RBI by Jake Marisnick, making it a 2-2 game going to the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Houston took their first lead of the night. Alex Bregman hit a two-out double, bringing Yuli Gurriel to the plate who delivered a go-ahead two-run home run to give the Astros a 4-2 advantage.

2) Greinke leaves with a lead

Zack Greinke did not have his greatest stuff on Friday night, but it was still enough to keep him in line for the win. He put the Astros down 2-0 in the top of the second, allowing three straight singles to begin the inning which resulted in a 2-0 Los Angeles lead.

He settled in after that while his team gave him a 4-2 lead, but in the top of the sixth, he would allow one more run after an error and a single before an RBI-groundout made it a 4-3 game. Greinke would remain in the game to start the seventh, getting a couple of outs while putting runners on first and third, but Will Harris could get the third out. His final line: 6.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.

3) Astros hold on for the win

After the Angels pulled within one run at 4-3 in the top of the sixth, the Astros pushed it back to a two-run lead in the bottom of the seventh. Jose Altuve hit a one-out single, moved to second on a groundout for the second out, then scored on a two-out RBI-single by Alex Bregman to make it a 5-3 Houston lead.

Hector Rondon took over on the mound in the top of the eighth but was met with a solo home run to cut the lead back to one run at 5-4 before retiring the next three batters. That set up Roberto Osuna for another save opportunity, which he converted to complete the one-run win to start the weekend series.

Up Next: Houston and Los Angeles will continue this series with a Saturday night matchup getting underway at 6:10 PM. The Astros will send Wade Miley (12-4, 3.18 ERA) to the mound who has not earned a loss since June 17th, while the Angles are expected to start Dillon Peters (3-1. 3.92 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston scored in droves

Astros drub Twins in finale to take series win

Houston's offense showered Minnesota with hits in Sunday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games, with Houston's offense uncharacteristically ineffective in the loss on Saturday, they tried to turn things around with a win to take the series on Sunday. The Astros would bounce right back at the plate, getting hits and runs all through the afternoon to rout the Twins.

Final Score: Astros 14, Twins 3

Astros' Record: 37-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-4)

Valdez keeps rolling

Framber Valdez continued to impress in 2021 after starting his season on the IL, posting another quality start with a win against the Twins. After four scoreless frames, he allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fifth, just the third hit of the game for Minnesota to that point. He went on to retire the next three batters to get through the inning.

He faltered a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double followed by a single, with a run coming across on an error on that play. He once again rebounded to finish that frame, then put up a 1-2-3 seventh to finish his day off, notching another quality start and a win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 97 P.

Houston keeps their foot on the gas

While Valdez's outing was a highlight of its own, Houston's offense was the story of the day. They put their foot down on the pedal all day and did not let up, starting in the top of the first when Jose Altuve turned the first pitch of the game around for a single, later scoring on a sac fly by Alex Bregman to put the Astros in front 1-0.

After two scoreless innings, they got right back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker, then kept pouring it on with two runs in the fifth on a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel and an error, making it 5-0 at the time. The runs kept coming in the top of the sixth, with a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, who would score later on a two-run bomb by Yordan Alvarez. Then, in the top of the seventh, Brantley struck again to push it to double-digits with a two-RBI single to make it 11-2 and give Brantley 4 RBI on the afternoon.

With Houston swapping out starters with the hefty lead, even their pinch-hitters were getting involved, with Chas McCormick leading the top of the eighth off with a solo shot to make it a ten-run game. They then loaded the bases with no outs, setting up a sac fly for Myles Straw to make it 13-2.

Astros take the series

In the bottom of the eighth, Ralph Garza Jr. came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Houston. He recorded two quick outs but then met Nelson Cruz, who lasered a solo homer to put it back at a ten-run game before finishing the frame. Houston put their twentieth hit on the board in the top of the ninth, their highest total this season, en route to another scoring inning with a sac fly by Robel Garcia to make it 14-3. Garza came in for his second inning of work to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Astros a successful end to this series and road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel home before an off day on Monday to rest before 20 days of consecutive games. They'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, welcoming in the Rangers for two starting at 7:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the IL for the Astros, though Jake Odorizzi will "piggy-back" him, and Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.13 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.

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