Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
After having their most recent winning streak snapped in the series finale with the Rays on Thursday, the Astros made the trip north of the border to start a weekend three-game series with the Blue Jays in Toronto. Here is a quick rundown of the series opener:
Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 4.
Record: 88-48, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Collin McHugh (4-5, 4.70 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Trent Thornton (4-9, 5.34 ERA).
1) Miley struggles with an erratic strike zone
Wade Miley did not have an enjoyable time on the mound in the early goings of the game. He was struggling to find the zone, allowing a couple of walks in the bottom of the first, but was able to erase them to keep Toronto off the board.
Still struggling to throw strikes, and with a very questionable strike zone from the home plate umpire, Miley got himself into more trouble in the bottom of the second by walking the bases loaded before catcher's interference scored a run to put the Blue Jays ahead 1-0. He was able to strike out the next two batters to strand all three runners, but his pitch count was quickly rising.
His pitch count would come into play as he progressed over the next couple of innings, getting only two outs into fourth before allowing a single which prompted a call to Houston's bullpen. Collin McHugh was brought in and finished up the fourth. Miley's final pitching line: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 0 HR.
2) Houston jumps on top in the middle innings
Houston's offense was finally able to crack Trent Thornton in the top of the fifth inning, getting a couple of runners on base after an error and one-out double. Josh Reddick recorded an RBI in his fourth-straight game with a single to tie the game 1-1, then George Springer pushed Houston ahead 4-1 after hitting a mammoth dinger 463 feet to score three more runs.
112.6 mph. 463 feet.
By George, he got all of it. pic.twitter.com/bW9wfob84V
— MLB (@MLB) August 31, 2019
Joe Biagini made his first appearance against his former team in the bottom of the fifth and was able to retire three in order. Houston continued to hit well in the top of the sixth, getting runners on second and third with no outs. Aledmys Diaz scored one on a sacrifice fly, then later in the inning Springer notched another RBI with a double to extend the lead to 6-1. Biagini was able to erase a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, maintaining the five-run advantage to the seventh.
3) Wrapping up the win
Hector Rondon took over out of the bullpen for the bottom of the seventh but was met with a leadoff solo home run to cut the lead to 6-2. He was able to get the three outs to complete the inning, but not without two walks along the way. Alex Bregman was able to put the lead back to five runs with an RBI-single in the top of the eighth.
Chris Devenski was the next reliever for Houston in the bottom of the eighth, and despite allowing a two-out solo home run was able to keep the lead going into the ninth. Will Harris had the ninth, and he too allowed a solo home run but was able to record the final three outs to finish off the win.
Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will be Saturday at 2:07 PM. The expected pitching matchup is Clay Buchholz (0-3, 5.87 ERA) on the mound for the Blue Jays going against Framber Valdez (4-6, 5.14 ERA) for the Astros.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.
Luka Doncic had 41 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and the Dallas Mavericks prevented the Houston Rockets from advancing to the quarterfinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament with a 121-115 victory on Tuesday night.
Kyrie Irving added 22 of his 27 points in the second half for the Mavericks, who had already been eliminated. Their victory allowed the New Orleans Pelicans to win Group B in the Western Conference with a 3-1 record.
Doncic fell just short of his 59th career triple-double. That would have tied him for ninth place all-time with Larry Bird. He shot 15 of 29, 3 of 10 on 3-pointers.
“Sometimes we take him for granted, and we shouldn’t,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s about winning, but it just so happens he’s a walking triple-double.
”The Mavericks, who trailed by nine points in the third quarter, grabbed the lead for good at 99-98 with 6:25 to play on a drive by Irving. Leading 103-100 with 5:25 left, they went on an 8-2 run that included three free throws by Derrick Jones Jr. when he was fouled by Dillon Brooks on a 25-footer with the shot clock about to expire.
Jabari Smith Jr.’s 3-pointer with 8 seconds left pulled the Rockets within 119-115 before Dallas closed it out.
Doncic played after sustaining a low-grade sprain of his left thumb on his non-shooting hand early in Saturday’s game. He wore a wrap on the thumb.
Doncic made a hook shot from the free throw line after recovering a loose ball near the baseline.
“I’m 2 for 2 in my career on the hooks,” Doncic said, saying the other came while playing for the Slovenian national team against Sweden.
Irving shot 2 for 11 in the first half, 1 for 5 on 3-pointers, with no free-throw attempts. He was 6 for 11 in the second half, hitting 1 of 2 behind the arc, and sank all nine free throws.
“I told the team, ‘Played well enough to win, not smart enough to win,’” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “We were extra-aggressive, especially at the end of the third quarter. Had multiple players make a few dumb fouls, put Kyrie at the line and got him going when he didn’t have a lot going. You can be aggressive, obviously, but slapping somebody on a 3-point shot on the arm is an unintelligent play. It has nothing to do with aggression.”
Alperen Sengun had a season-best 31 points for the Rockets, who had six scorers in double figures. Fred VanVleet had 10 points and 12 assists.
The Rockets have lost all six of their road games this season. They went into play leading the NBA by allowing an average of 104.4 points per game.
The Mavericks didn’t use the specially built court for either of their home tournament games, citing dissatisfaction with the quality.
Rockets: Will finish a back-to-back at Denver on Wednesday.
Mavericks: Host Memphis on Friday.