Astros complete a sweep of the Rangers

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 5-3 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With both the weekend series and season series locked up, the Astros were going for a sweep of this three-game set on Sunday. Here is how the finale unfolded:

Final Score: Astros 5, Rangers 3.

Record: 64-37, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Rogelio Armenteros (1-0, 1.93 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance Lynn (12-6, 3.93 ERA).

1) Brantley starts things with a bang

Houston wasted no time getting on the board on Sunday. With Springer receiving the day off, everyone else shifted up a spot in the order.

This put Alex Bregman second in the lineup, and he worked a one-out walk, bringing up Michael Brantley in the top of the first. He turned around the first pitch he saw, hitting it into Houston's bullpen for the quick 2-0 lead.

After the Rangers cut the lead to one run in the third, the Astros put together a big fifth inning to extend their lead. It started with a two-out opposite-field solo home run by Jose Altuve to make it a two-run lead again at 3-1.

They continued to fight with two outs, getting a single and a walk to set up an RBI-single by Yordan Alvarez to extend the lead to 4-1.

Brantley struck again in the bottom of the eighth, launching his second homer of the day into the upper deck in right field. That added an insurance run, extending the lead to 5-2.

2) Armenteros goes five one-run innings 

Rogelio Armenteros did well in his first official start on Sunday. He had only one bad inning, giving up a walk and a couple of hits in the third to allow his only run of the day.

Other than that, he was able to get through five innings, but with his pitch count at 91 was not asked to go any further.

Armenteros’ final line: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

3) Closing out the sweep

With Armenteros' day done after five innings, Josh James took over on the mound to start the sixth. He would get two outs in before allowing a solo home run to make it a 4-2 game and prompting the call for Collin McHugh.

McHugh would get the final out of the sixth as well as a scoreless seventh. Will Harris was next out of the bullpen, and he was able to work around a couple of hits for a scoreless inning.

Roberto Osuna came in to close things out in the ninth and did so, despite allowing a one-out solo home run, to complete the sweep.

Up Next: With this series over, the Astros will continue this homestand tomorrow with the first of three games against the A's. Monday's game is slated for a 7:10 PM start, and the pitching matchup is expected to be newly-acquired Homer Bailey (8-6, 4.69 ERA) for his new team, Oakland, going against the surging Gerrit Cole (10-5, 3.12 ERA) for Houston who has not recorded a loss since May 22nd.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Houston Astros/Facebook

The Astros had a bad 4-6 road trip and looked forward to getting home to Minute Maid Park where they have been dominant this season. The pitiful Detroit Tigers arrived in Houston with a record since the All Star Break of nine wins and 27 losses. They literally do not have one non-pitcher who would make a healthy Astros' roster. That includes the way over the hill sure fire Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Splitting four games at home with the Tigers would have been a fail. The Astros did not fail, though "only" taking three out of four seems a little disappointing. The S.S. Astros Good Ship Lollipop has sprung a couple of leaks. Neither that can't be plugged with good health, but the Astros have two notable health issues.

Carlos Correa's next endorsement deal should be for peanut brittle, emphasis not on the peanut. Some guys just have a propensity toward getting injured. Unfortunately the Correa resume grows that he is one of those guys. That back problems have resurfaced is troubling, to no one more so than Correa himself. It's clear the guy loves the game and is spectacularly talented, but durability is one component of greatness and to this point Correa simply has not demonstrated durability. If he can't produce a fully healthy bigtime season or two in the next year or two, any visions of a Manny Machado-like 10 year 300 million dollar contract will be up in smoke. Still, Correa turns only 25 years old next month so there's time to prove sturdiness, but more sand has seeped through the hourglass. For the 2019 Astros the dropdown is huge from Correa at shortstop to either Miles Straw or Aledmys Diaz being in the lineup. As for 2020, please tell anyone saying the Astros should trade Correa to be quiet.

The loss of Ryan Pressly for most if not all of the rest of the regular season is a big blow to the bullpen. Of even bigger concern is whether he can get back and get sharp to start the postseason.

This doesn't mean the ship is sinking. The Astros enter the weekend just one game behind the Yankees for the best record in the American League, and the Astros own the tiebreaker (having won the season series 4-3). They are three back of the Dodgers for best in MLB, the Astros have a three game lead in the tiebreaker with LA (intradivision record). The Yankees play at the Dodgers this weekend so if you're a glass half full person: a Dodger or Yankee loss is guaranteed three days in a row! If you're glass half empty: a Dodger or Yankee win is guaranteed three days in a row!

NFL on the horizon

A little over 2 weeks until the Texans begin their 18th season of play in the National Football League. We've all heard the saying, the 18th time is the charm. So is this the season the Texans are finally a legitimate Super Bowl contender? Probably not. The Texans do not look like a notably improved football team. On paper their schedule is clearly more difficult than last season's. Within the AFC the Chiefs clearly have more overall talent and are better coached. The Patriots still exist. One of these years Tom Brady really will slip. Maybe at age 42 this is the season.

If Jadeveon Clowney opts to sit out, or is traded, anyone thinking he won't be missed, is wrong. Clowney is not a superstar but he's really good. The Texans will be easier to run on without him. And while not an elite pass rusher, Clowney has to be accounted for. Anyone thinking, ah, he's hurt all the time anyway…wrong again. Clowney missed one game last season, and the season before that he played in every game.

If you want a couple of reasons for plausible optimism, here you go. Coming off of last season Deshaun Watson does not rate as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. He could well vault into that echelon this season. The Texans' offensive line remains something between a question mark and a glaring weakness, but really, can it be worse than it was the last couple of seasons? DeAndre Hopkins is about as good as it gets today at wide receiver, the same for J.J. Watt at defensive end though the clock is ticking down on his prime.

The Texans probably begin their season by losing at New Orleans. On the other hand the Buccaneers started their 5-11 2018 season by beating the 13-3 to be Saints in New Orleans.

Buzzer Beaters

1. Connor McGregor pitches some "number 12" brand of whisky. As a human being he seems much more a piece of number two. 2. Two peas in a pitching pod: Justin Verlander 15-5, 2.77 ERA, 239 strikeouts. Gerrit Cole 15-5, 2.75 ERA, 238 strikeouts. 3. Worst tasting vegetables: Bronze-kale Silver-peas Gold-lima beans


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