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.

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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