Astros lock up the series win against the Rangers

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After taking the opener on Friday night, the Astros had their sights on locking up the series with a win over the Rangers on Saturday. Here is a recap of the middle game of the three-game set:

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 1.

Record: 63-37, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jose Urquidy (1-0, 5.54 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Ariel Jurado (5-6, 4.92 ERA).

1) Gurriel cannot be stopped

It was Houston once again starting the scoring for the night, this time in the bottom of the third. Myles Straw led the inning off with a double, then came around to score on another double by George Springer. Springer would then also score no a one-out double by Michael Brantley, putting the Astros up 2-0.

The Astros quickly extended their lead in the fifth. It started with back-to-back two-out singles by Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez, bringing Yuli Gurriel to the plate. Gurriel continued his recent red-hot streak, drilling a home run to make it a 5-1 lead for Houston. The home run was Gurriel's thirteenth in his last twenty-one games, and the three runs from it brought his total in that same span of games to twenty-eight.

2) Brilliant start for Urquidy

Jose Urquidy received another chance to start on Saturday night while the Astros continue to try to figure out the fourth and fifth spots of the rotation. He took complete advantage of the opportunity, giving his team exactly what they needed with an extended outing.

Urquidy did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, though it would be a costly one in a solo home run which trimmed Houston's lead to 2-1 at the time. He quickly put that behind him, settling right back in and only allowing one other hit over the rest of his seven innings of work.

Along the way he also racked up nine strikeouts while issuing zero walks, further solidifying it as his best start so far in the big leagues. Urquidy's final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR.

3) Holding on to take the series

With Urquidy giving Houston seven innings, that meant only two innings of work for the bullpen. Chris Devenski took over for the top of the eighth and struck out the side on fourteen pitches. Hector Rondon was given the ninth with the five-run lead, looking to put his most recent outing behind him. He did so, getting a 1-2-3 inning to finish off the victory.

The win not only secured a win in this series but a win in the season series with the Astros taking their tenth of the nineteen-game series.

Up Next: The Astros and Rangers will conclude this series with the first pitch of the finale scheduled for 1:10 PM Sunday. Texas will have the best starter of their rotation on the mound in Lance Lynn (12-5, 3.87 ERA) while Houston will hope to get a solid start out of Rogelio Armenteros (0-0, 2.00 ERA) to get a weekend sweep.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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This is a rough week for Astros fans. Photo by Getty Images. Composite image by Brandon Strange

On Tuesday night former Astros center fielder George Springer agreed to a 6-year $150 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays according to MLB Network's, Jon Heyman. Now we have reports that Michael Brantley will sign a 3-year deal with the Blue Jays and join Springer in Toronto.

This is a crushing blow for the Astros to lose both Brantley and Springer to Toronto. Former Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is also a free agent that won't be returning to Houston, which puts the Astros in a position where they only have one starter locked-in to play the outfield in 2021, that being Kyle Tucker. Just last year the Astros lost one of the best pitchers in baseball, when Gerrit Cole broke the bank signing a 9-year $324 million contract with the Yankees. Add that to Springer and Brantley leaving for Toronto and you have an Astros team losing three of their best players in short order. In Brantley's two seasons with Houston he hit over .300 with 27 bombs and 112 RBI.

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