Astros with another poor pitching performance

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-2 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston, having lost disappointingly in the series opener, were looking to rebound from the tough night prior with a good outing on Tuesday in the second game of four against the Angels. Here is the result of the game:

Final Score: Angels 7, Astros 2.

Record: 59-37, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Noe Ramirez (4-1, 3.21 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Hector Rondon (3-2, 4.79 ERA).

1) The opener closes out Houston's chances

Houston elected to have Hector Rondon serve as an "opener" to primary pitcher Rogelio Armenteros on Tuesday night, a decision that would, unfortunately, backfire and diminish their chances of winning the game. Rondon met the same night as Framber Valdez the night prior, throwing a complete disaster of an outing.

He would only be able to record two outs during which he allowed six demoralizing runs on five hits and one walk. That put the Astros in an insurmountable 6-0 hole and prompted an all-too-early call to the bullpen to bring in Chris Devenski to try and get out of the inning.

Devenski was able to get the last out of the first inning and returned to pitch the second inning as well. He would record twice as many outs as Rondon, without allowing a run and giving up just one hit.

2) Armenteros with a decent outing, offense unable to overcome the deficit

Once Armenteros was able to get into the game, he served his role well, eating up innings three through six. Over that stretch, he allowed just one unearned run after a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth. He would pitch four total innings, getting up to 71 pitches and allowing only two hits while striking out three.

Will Harris was next out of Houston's bullpen to take over in the bottom of the seventh, and he provided a scoreless inning to keep it at a 7-2 game at the time. Josh James closed out the pitching night for Houston with a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

The offense had their chances, getting plenty of runners on base throughout the game. Tyler White helped get them on the board with an RBI-single in the fourth, cutting the lead to 6-1. They would put the first two runners on in the top of the fifth, leading to White's second RBI-single in as many innings and making it a four-run game. That's as close as they would get, going on to strand 14 runners in the game.

3) Benches clear in the sixth after Marisnick is hit by pitch

With Marisnick not in the lineup on Monday, the Angels had their first chance of retaliation in Tuesday night's game and threw an attempted plunk at him in the top of the sixth. Whether intentional or a missed spot, the ball ended up shoulder high, hitting Marisnick nearly between the shoulder blades, prompting some contention in Houston's dugout.

Marisnick handled the situation well, not even looking back at the pitcher and going straight to first base. Even after Albert Pujols took offense with the statements coming out of the Astros' dugout, resulting in the benches clearing, Marisnick was trying to keep his teammates under control and avoid conflict. It ended up being a lot of show for nothing, as both teams would receive warnings and the game would resume without further incident.

Up Next: Houston will finally get one of their regular rotation pitchers back on the mound Wednesday night. The game will be another 9:07 PM start, and while the Angels do not yet have their starter picked, the Astros will send Gerrit Cole (9-5, 3.23 ERA) to the mound to try and distance Astros fans from the memory of the last two nights.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Gerrit Cole leads Astros to series win

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

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a disappointing end to the third game of this four-game set on Wednesday night, Houston tried to end the series with a win and a series victory on Thursday evening. Here is how the finale shook out:

Final Score: Astros 6, Tigers 3.

Record: 82-47, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.75 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jordan Zimmerman (1-9, 6.48 ERA).

1) Cole dazzles in his return 

Gerrit Cole, much like Justin Verlander the night before, was able to take advantage of a struggling Tigers lineup and expand on his already fantastic season numbers. Cole allowed a walk and a single in the second inning, the only two baserunners he would see through the first five frames.

In the top of the sixth, he allowed the second hit of the night by Detroit but stranded that runner as well. He returned for another scoreless inning in the seventh and was shut down after reaching 94 pitches over that span. Along the way he continued to rack up swings and misses, locking up yet another double-digit strikeout by the end of the sixth.

It was a terrific start for Cole, who was coming off the hamstring discomfort that had him sidelined for a little over a week. His final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, 0 HR.

2) Astros back up Cole with plenty of runs

While the offense was not electric through the early parts of the game, they did at least provide Cole double the amount of run support they gave Verlander the night before. The two runs they put on the board came in the bottom of the fourth after Michael Brantley hit a leadoff double before Alex Bregman drilled a line-drive two-run homer to make it a 2-0 Houston lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, Brantley and Bregman struck again with singles to get on base before an RBI-double by Yordan Alvarez to extend Houston's lead to 3-0. Once again Brantley was able to play a factor into the game in the bottom of the seventh, coming to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs and delivering a two-RBI single to make it a 5-0 Houston lead.

Yuli Gurriel joined the other three hitters in the middle of the order with RBIs, getting one of his own on an RBI-single to make it 6-0 before the Tigers could get out of the bottom of the seventh.

3) Finishing up the series win

With Cole's night done, Joe Smith took over on the mound for the top of the eighth and was able to record a twelve-pitch 1-2-3 inning. Joe Biagini returned to Houston's bullpen roster and was brought in for the top of the ninth, but allowed back-to-back home runs to cut Houston's lead in half at 6-3.

Biagini was able to get another out, but after issuing a four-pitch two-out walk was pulled in favor of Roberto Osuna who was able to get the last out, despite walking a batter, to close out the win. Abraham Toro, called up before this game to make his major-league debut, went 0-for-4.

Up Next: The Astros will turn their attention to the Angels who come to town for a three-game series starting Friday night with the series opener scheduled for 7:10 PM. Zack Greinke (13-4, 2.84 ERA) will make his fourth start with Houston and will face Jose Suarez (2-4, 6.75 ERA) who will be on the mound for Los Angeles.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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