Astros take the opener in Toronto

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-4 win

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.

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.

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After rallying in the ninth inning in Game 1 to take the pivotal opener of this best-of-three ALWC series, the Astros were in the driver's seat to try and end the series on Wednesday with another win at Target Field. Here is a quick rundown of Game 2:

Final Score: Astros 3, Twins 1.

Series: HOU Wins 2-0.

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier.

Losing Pitcher: Cody Stashak.

Houston gets the first hit and first run in the fourth

Through the first three innings, neither team could get a hit off of Jose Berrios or Jose Urquidy, though the Twins did load the bases in the bottom of the first on two walks and an error, but Urquidy would strand the runners before getting 1-2-3 innings in the second and third.

Meanwhile, the Astros lineup was retired in order in three perfect innings by Berrios. That changed in the top of the fourth when Houston would get back-to-back two-out walks to set up the first hit of the game, an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Dusty Baker makes another early call to the bullpen before Twins tie it up

Urquidy was able to keep the 1-0 lead by working around a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth, the first hit for the Twins. He returned in the fifth, allowing a leadoff single before a strikeout for the first out. Dusty Baker would pull another early hook, like Greinke the day prior, dipping into his bullpen early to end Urquidy's day at just 76 pitches in the fifth. His final line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 76 P.

Brooks Raley was who Baker called on to face the top of the Twins' lineup. He would walk his first batter, putting runners on first and second, get a strikeout for the second out, then allow an RBI-double to Nelson Cruz that almost scored a second, go-ahead run. Instead, the runner was out at home thanks to a terrific defensive play by Carlos Correa, bulleting the ball to Maldonado at home, who made a great tag to save the run and keep it tied 1-1.

Correa homers, Astros advance to ALDS

After Raley completed the fifth inning for Urquidy, Cristian Javier was the next reliever out to begin the bottom of the sixth. He would toss a 1-2-3 frame, sending the tie game to the seventh. In the top of the seventh, Carlos Correa broke the tie with a long, loud two-out solo home run to center-field, putting the Astros back in front 2-1.

Javier held on to the one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh by working around a leadoff walk, then returned for the eighth. He would get through it scoreless, despite allowing a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz, who would be pinch-ran for by the speedy Byron Buxton. After a strikeout for out number two, Javier would catch Buxton between first and second base in a rundown, getting the big final out of the inning.

Houston added insurance in the top of the ninth, getting two on base before an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, his second of the day to make it 3-1. That left things up to closer Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance of the postseason. He would notch the save, advancing the Astros to the ALDS for their fourth-straight year.

Up Next: The Astros will now have a few days off to travel to the west coast before starting their ALDS with the winner of the A's / White Sox ALWC series. Game 1 of their ALDS will be on Monday, October 5th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with start time TBD.

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