Astros drop the middle game to Toronto
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 6-4 loss
The Astros started Saturday on top of MLB's overall standings after a win in the series opener against the Blue Jays on Friday night. They looked to keep pace with the Yankees and Dodgers with another victory in the middle game to secure the series. Here is a quick rundown of Saturday's game from Toronto:
Final Score: Blue Jays 6, Astros 4.
Record: 88-49, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.45 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (4-7, 5.55 ERA).
1) Valdez digs a big hole
Houston's offense had an efficient start to the game, getting back-to-back hits to start the game with runners on first and third. Alex Bregman scored the first run of the afternoon on a sacrifice fly, putting Houston ahead 1-0.
After winning the battle against the Blue Jays in the first two innings, Framber Valdez would struggle in the third inning, allowing two one-out walks followed by an RBI-single and a two-run home run to put Toronto ahead 3-1. In the fourth, a two-out single would turn into a two-run home run, extending the lead to 5-1.
Valdez would continue on the mound trying to keep Toronto from adding to their lead, and did so through two outs in the sixth inning when a single would end his day as he was over 100 pitches. Joe Smith was brought in from the bullpen to try and finish the sixth but instead would allow Valdez's sixth run of the day. Valdez's final line: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.
2) Astros score some, but not enough
Houston was able to get a couple of runs back in the top of the sixth, getting two two-out walks to set up a two-RBI doubly by Yuli Gurriel, which made it 5-3 at the time.
After Toronto tacked on one more run to push the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Houston was able to load the bases in the top of the seventh with one out. After a groundout kept the bases loaded with two outs, Alex Bregman was able to work a walk to score a run to make it 6-4. Toronto's bullpen would win the battle though, striking out Yordan Alvarez to end the threat.
Joe Smith, who completed the sixth for Valdez, remained on the mound for the bottom of the seventh and worked around a two-out walk to keep the game 6-4 going to the eighth. Houston had another chance in the top of the ninth with the tying runs on base but again came away empty. Cy Sneed was next out of Houston's bullpen and threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, but Houston would come up empty yet again in the top of the ninth, dropping the middle game and falling behind the Yankees in the standings.
Up Next: The series finale between Houston and Toronto will start on Sunday at 12:07 PM. The pitching matchup will be Cy Young leader Justin Verlander (16-5, 2.69 ERA) on the mound for the Astros opposite of Wilmer Font (2-1, 3.86 ERA) for the Blue Jays.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.