Astros win their sixth straight to lock up the series

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 8-6 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Winners of five straight games after the bludgeoning of the Rays in the series opener, the Astros looked to secure another series win with Gerrit Cole on the mound on Wednesday night. Here is a recap of the middle game of the three-game set:

Final Score: Astros 8, Rays 6.

Record: 87-47, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Will Harris (4-1, 1.60 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Diego Castillo (2-8, 3.76 ERA).

1) Cole gets the strikeouts, but also allows four runs

A few baserunners which turned into runs kept a decent night by Gerrit Cole from being a terrific one. Cole allowed one run in the top of the second after walking the leadoff batter who was able to advance to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a sacrifice fly, putting the Rays ahead 1-0.

His other runs came in the top of the fourth after a one-out single turned into a two-run home run to extend Tampa Bay's lead to 3-0. Outside of those miscues, Cole was still able to put together a dominant night including racking up double-digit strikeouts yet again.

After finishing the sixth inning with 98 pitches and his twelfth strikeout of the night, A.J. Hinch allowed him to continue to at least start the seventh. He allowed a leadoff triple on a ball down the first-base line, then a one-out go-ahead RBI-single, then one last strikeout for the second out before Hinch would go to the bullpen. Cole's final line: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 14 K, 1 HR.

2) Astros pull away late to secure the series win

Meanwhile, on offense for Houston, they were held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. Down 3-0 at that point, they were able to tie the game after a leadoff double for Jose Altuve who moved to third on a groundout, then scored on an RBI-single by Alex Bregman. With two outs, Yuli Gurriel provided yet another clutch hit to continue his hot stretch over this summer, getting a game-tying two-run home run.

After Tampa Bay broke the 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh against Gerrit Cole who would leave with two outs, Will Harris was the first out of Houston's bullpen and recorded the final out. In the bottom half, the Astros were able to get Cole off the hook on an RBI-double by Aledmys Diaz to tie the game. They continued to string together hits, taking a 5-4 lead later in the inning on an RBI-single by George Springer then adding another on a throwing error, making it 6-4.

Harris remained on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth and put together a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. The Astros added some insurance in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases before an RBI-single by Martin Maldonado then a bases-loaded walk by George Springer to make it 8-4.

Roberto Osuna took over on the mound in the top of the ninth and allowed a lead-off walk then a one-out two-run home run to trim the lead to 8-6. He was able to get the final two outs to finish the game and give Houston the series victory and their sixth-straight win.

Up Next: With Tampa Bay heading home for the weekend and Houston heading up to Toronto to kick off a five-game road trip on Friday, the two teams will wrap this three-game series up with an afternoon game on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM, and while Zack Greinke (14-4, 2.83 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros looking to stay undefeated with his new team, we do not yet have a starter named for the Rays.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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