Astros power past Rangers in extra innings

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 4 hits from the 7-6 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the demoralizing loss on Friday night, the Astros were desperate to turn the page to a new game and put the issues of the past two games behind them and get back in the win column. Here is how Saturday's game played out:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 7, Rangers 6.

Record: 58-35, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Josh James (4-0, 4.91 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brett Martin (1-1, 5.34 ERA).

1) Another offensive back-and-forth early

The Astros tried to set the momentum in their favor early by making an offensive statement in the top of the first. George Springer started the game by working a walk, then Jose Altuve followed with a single. Alex Bregman moved both of them forward a base with a groundout, setting up a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley to make it a 1-0 Houston advantage. Yordan Alvarez followed that up with an RBI-double, extending the lead to 2-0 and starting this game right where he left off in his two-homer game the night prior.

The Rangers responded right away, though, getting back-to-back solo home runs off of Wade Miley in their first two at-bats to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the first inning. Brantley put the Astros back in front with his second RBI of the night in the top of the third, an RBI-single to make it 3-2.

Texas once again wasted no time getting more runs of their own, taking advantage of several errors in the bottom of the third. The miscues extended the inning, allowing them to score a run on a sacrifice fly along with a go-ahead run after the ball got away from Max Stassi at home and ended up in a camera well, giving the Rangers the lead at 4-3.

2) Bregman makes his presence felt 

Alex Bregman, after missing Friday night's game as a result of the ground ball that struck his face on Thursday night, was back in the lineup on Saturday. He quickly shrugged off the defensive error he had earlier in the game, hammering a game-tying solo home run in the top of the fifth to even the score at 4-4.

After getting Mike Minor out of the game after five innings, Houston went to work on the Rangers' bullpen in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with one out. They'd get the go-ahead run on an error by Texas, taking a 5-4 lead, but would miss a chance to add more with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

3) Rangers tie it up to end Miley's night on sour note

Wade Miley didn't have as bad of a start going as it would appear going into the seventh inning. While he did start his night off in the worst way possible with the two solo home runs in the bottom of the first, the multitude of errors in the third made those runs he allowed unearned.

He did well after that rough third inning, getting through the next three innings with just one hit allowed. He took a high pitch count into the seventh with a 5-4 lead but would get stung with a one-out solo home run which allowed the Rangers to re-tie the game at 5-5. He would get one more out before A.J. Hinch would make the call to the bullpen. Miley's final line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 HR.

Will Harris would be first out of Houston's bullpen, and he finished off the seventh with a strikeout.

4) Astros pull ahead in extras

Houston had a chance to go back in front in the top of the eighth, getting a two-out triple from Jake Marisnick. They'd watch that opportunity slip away, though, but Ryan Pressly would throw a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to set up another chance in the ninth.

The Astros had the heart of their order up in the top of the ninth, but it would take a two-out single by Michael Brantley to get a baserunner aboard. They would pinch-run Myles Straw for Brantley, but he would get picked off at first to end the inning.

Josh James took over on the mound on the bottom of the ninth looking to send the game to extra innings. He would do so, getting a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. The Astros were aggressive in the top of the tenth, but it would not pan out for them, and instead resulted in a five-pitch inning for Texas who would get another chance to walk it off. James was able to extend the game one inning further, though, with another scoreless inning including two more strikeouts.

In the top of the eleventh, George Springer worked a walk after two quick outs before him. Jose Altuve was next and powered a ball into left-center field deep enough to score Springer from first, putting Houston ahead 6-5 with an RBI-double. Altuve was able to advance to third during the play, which after an intentional walk to Alex Bregman set up an RBI-single by Myles Straw to extend the lead to 7-5.

Roberto Osuna came in to close things out in the bottom of the eleventh and would do so but not before struggling to get the final out. The Rangers would get a two-out RBI-single to trim the lead to one but would come no closer as Osuna would finish off the win.

Up Next: The Astros and Rangers will wrap up this four-game set tomorrow with the first pitch of the finale scheduled for 2:05 PM. Houston will send their ace, Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98 ERA), to the mound to face Ariel Jurado (5-4, 4.23 ERA) for Texas.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Houston's magic number is down to 1

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the mini-sweep of the Rangers concluding with win number 100 on the season which secured a playoff spot, the Astros turned their sights to clinching the division. With their magic number at 2, they could clinch on Friday with a win in the series opener against Los Angeles and an Oakland loss. Here is a recap of the first game of the weekend against the Angels:

Final Score: Astros 6, Angels 4.

Record: 101-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (17-5, 3.05 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jaime Barria (4-10, 6.43 ERA).

1) Starting with a bang

With a chance to clinch their division and continue to lead the battle for playoff home-field advantage, Houston came out swinging on Friday night. In the first inning, the Astros blasted three home runs with solo shots from Jose Altuve which led off the inning, and Alex Bregman as he tries to catch the sidelined Mike Trout for a possible MVP award.

Later in the inning, Carlos Correa took advantage of a runner on base with a home run of his own, a two-run bomb to extend the lead before Josh Reddick tacked on one more with an RBI-single to make it 5-0 after one.

2) Greinke struggles in the fourth but finishes five innings

Zack Greinke allowed just two hits through the first three innings: a single and a solo home run which at the time cut the lead to 5-1. Carlos Correa pushed the lead back to five runs with his second home run of the night in the bottom of the third.

Greinke would struggle in the top of the fourth, however, allowing five straight hits which would score three runs to cut Houston's lead to 6-4. He would recover and toss a 1-2-3 fifth, but that would be it for him in a five-inning start, as Houston passed the ball to their bullpen to throw the last four frames. His final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston's bullpen dominant the rest of the way

Josh James was the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen to take over for Greinke in the top of the sixth and erased a two-out walk to complete a scoreless inning. Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance in a month after having surgery on his knee, returned dominantly with a 1-2-3 inning.

Will Harris did the same in the top of the eighth, holding the two-run lead going to the ninth. Roberto Osuna had the chance for another save in the top of the ninth and converted it to finish off the 6-4 win. That reduced the magic number to one, meaning the Astros are now a win or Oakland loss away from clinching the American League West. They are also just two wins away from matching last year's franchise number of 103.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set with the Angles will be on Saturday at 6:10 PM. Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA) will get the start for Houston while Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 4.91 ERA) is expected to be on the mound for Los Angeles.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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