Astros complete the sweep of the Angels
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 11-2 win
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.
Tuve turns it up to 11. pic.twitter.com/tx2MEJiyc0
— MLB (@MLB) August 25, 2019
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.