Astros complete the sweep of the Mariners

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 3-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the four-pitcher combined no-hitter the day before secured them the series win, Houston sent Justin Verlander to the mound to complete the clean sweep. Here is a rundown of the series finale with the Mariners:

Final Score: Astros 3, Mariners 1.

Record: 73-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (15-4, 2.68 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Tommy Milone (1-6, 4.33 ERA).

1) Just another day at the office for Verlander

While he didn't throw a no-hitter like his four teammates did the day before, it was another typically terrific day for Justin Verlander. He did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, which was Seattle's first hit since Friday night's game. He also allowed a two-out triple in the top of the fifth but would strand that runner as well.

Along the way, Verlander recorded yet another double-digit strikeout game, surpassing 200 on the season to join his teammate Gerrit Cole as the only pitchers in the league to accomplish that so far in 2019. Seattle did tag him with a run, a solo shot to lead off the seventh.

That would do it for him in this start, as he was sitting with 98 pitches after that home run. Verlander's final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HR.

2) Finishing the sweep

Along the way, Houston's offense had gotten two runs of support for Verlander. The first came in the bottom of the fourth after Alex Bregman led the inning off with a single, moved to third on a Jose Altuve double, then scored on an RBI-single by Carlos Correa. Bregman would come around to score again in the sixth; he hit a one-out double before moving to third on a wild pitch then scoring on a sacrifice fly by Yordan Alvarez to extend the lead to 2-0.

With Verlander's day over after the solo home run to start the seventh to cut the lead to 2-1, Joe Smith came in from the bullpen and worked around a one-out single to maintain the one-run advantage. Houston pushed it back to two runs in the bottom half of the inning, getting a one-out single by Jake Marisnick who stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick, making it 3-1.

Will Harris was next out of the bullpen to take over in the eighth, and he recorded a 1-2-3 inning. Roberto Osuna came in to close things out in the ninth and did so with a scoreless inning. The win completed the sweep, gave Houston five straight series wins, and made them winners in fourteen of their last seventeen games.

Up Next: Houston will get a day off tomorrow at home before starting a two-game series with the Rockies at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night. The first of the two games will begin at 7:10 PM and will be the debut of Zack Greinke (10-4, 2.90 ERA) for the Astros. The Rockies are expected to counter with German Marquez (10-5, 4.68 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

With the MLB Winter Meetings in full swing, several rumors are starting to swirl about the Astros listening to offers for shortstop Carlos Correa.

Andy Martino of SNY reports the Mets and Astros have had discussions regarding Correa, but nothing seems serious at this point. That report was enough to get the attention of Carlos Correa who called GM Jeff Luhnow to find out if there's any truth to the rumors.

ESPN 97.5's Charlie Pallilo shares his thoughts on the possibility of Correa getting traded, if Josh Reddick could be involved in the deal, and much more.

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