Astros complete the sweep of the Angels

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 11-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With the series victory already locked up by winning the first two games on Friday and Saturday, the Astros went after the series sweep on Sunday afternoon. Here is a recap of the finale against the Angels:

Final Score: Astros 11, Angels 2.

Record: 85-47, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (4-6, 5.14 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jaime Barria (4-7, 6.10 ERA).

1) Valdez works around early trouble to post a quality start

Framber Valdez, filling the rotation spot for Aaron Sanchez while he sits on the IL, was given the nod on Sunday. He didn't look to be out to a great start, walking two of the three batters he faced, but was able to get through the first inning without allowing a run.

He would allow a tying solo home run in the top of the second, then struggled in the top of the third. He loaded the bases with a walk, single, and a hit batter, but was able to navigate through the jam with two strikeouts and a groundout.

Something must have clicked for him after that, as he would go on to post three more efficient innings while his offense put him in line for the win. Valdez's final line in what ended up being a quality start: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 8 K, 1 HR.

2) Houston's offense explodes late to finish the sweep

Meanwhile, Houston's only early run came in the bottom of the first after Jose Altuve reached base on a leadoff double, moved to third on a flyout, then scored on an RBI-groundout by Yordan Alvarez. The Angels quickly tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second, and it would stay tied until the bottom of the fourth. In that inning, Yordan Alvarez worked a walk to lead things off, moved to third on a single by Yuli Gurriel, then scored on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick, giving Houston the lead back at 2-1.

With Valdez done after six innings, Hector Rondon took over on the mound in the top of the seventh and retired the Angels in order. The Astros extended their lead to three runs in the bottom of the inning, getting a leadoff walk by Abraham Toro who would score on a two-run home run by Martin Maldonado, making it a 4-1 game.

Joe Smith was next out of Houston's bullpen and worked around a leadoff single to maintain the lead in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Michael Brantley led off by extending his hitting streak to 18 games with a single. Myles Straw's speed was brought in to pinch-run, and it came into effect with the very next batter as Alex Bregman roped a ball into the left-field corner, an RBI-double to make it 5-1.

That sparked a seven-run inning with an RBI-single by Toro, a run on a passed ball, a two-RBI double by Josh Reddick, then a two-run homer by Jose Altuve. That pushed the lead to 11-1, and Chris Devenski was able to wrap things up in the ninth, despite allowing a two-out solo home run to make it 11-2.

Up Next: Houston gets a day off and will get to stay home for it on Monday, with their next game at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday evening against the Rays. The first of that three-game set starts at 7:10 PM and will be a terrific pitching matchup as Justin Verlander (15-5, 2.77 ERA) goes to the mound for the Astros to face former-teammate Charlie Morton (13-5, 2.85 ERA) for Tampa Bay.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Yuli Gurriel had a monster night at the plate Friday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

Although they lost the series 2-1, the Astros ended their road trip with a nice win over the Yankees to head home on a positive note. On Friday, they welcomed in the Toronto Blue Jays and former teammate George Springer, currently on the IL, to start a three-game series and long homestand. They had an excellent night at the plate, along with a strong start from Jose Urquidy, cruising past the Blue Jays to take the opener.

Final Score: Astros 10, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 17-15, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (3-2)

Losing Pitcher: Ross Stripling (0-2)

Jays strike first, then Houston responds and never looks back

It first appeared that Urquidy may be in for a long night, giving up two solo home runs early in Friday's game, one to Bo Bichette in the top of the first with one out to put Toronto up 1-0, then another to Danny Jansen in the top of the third. However, Urquidy would lock-in, and his offense would back him up strongly.

Houston ended up sending nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second, getting two runs on a homer by Carlos Correa, then later loading the bases to set up an RBI walk by Alex Bregman. In the bottom of the fifth, with a one-run lead at 3-2, Yuli Gurriel expanded the lead to three runs on a two-run shot.

Gurriel went on to have a fantastic night, going 4-for-4 at the plate with 4 RBI. His third of those came in the bottom of the seventh, extending the lead again with an RBI single to make it 6-2. Kyle Tucker made it a five-run game that same inning with an RBI double, then more insurance came in the bottom of the eighth. They reached double-digits that inning, with Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel, his fourth of the night, all getting an RBI to make it 10-2.

Urquidy finishes seven, then Emanuel finishes it off

Those gave Urquidy plenty of support, though he would bounce back after the two early homers and have a nice night on the mound. He allowed just two other hits, working around both, en route to a seven-inning two-run performance to earn him the win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 84 P.

He likely could have gone longer, but Dusty Baker turned the ball over to Kent Emanuel to wrap things up with the significant lead. He did so, despite allowing a two-run home run to former-Astro Teoscor Hernandez in the top of the ninth to make the score 10-4. The win kept the Astros above .500 and two games back of the A's, who sit atop the AL West standings.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be a 6:10 PM start Saturday night. The pitching matchup will be Steven Matz (4-2, 4.78 ERA) for Toronto and the electric Cristian Javier (3-0, 1.75 ERA) for Houston.

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