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.

Getty Images

So the Houston Astros, using cameras and video monitors and a labyrinthine baseball-bat-and-trash-can notification system, were stealing signs from opposing teams. From all indications, this is cheating and this is not kosher.

Let me just clarify that:

You are allowed to steal signs, you just can't do it electronically. In other words, it is really not wrong until you utilize the best means of technology.

Got it. I accept this, because, well, I don't feel like arguing this.

(I guess I'm glad the medical profession doesn't use this same standard. Uh, we could treat your headaches with Ibuprofen and heating pads, but let's stick with the ancient method of an elixir containing human blood and drilling a hole in the skull to relieve pressure.)

The Astros deserved MLB's punishment, but, as a student of history, Couch Slouch would like to point out that there have been multiple instances of similar swindling, defrauding, scamming, flimflamming, hoodwinking, fleecing, shafting, video-sign-stealing chicanery in modern and pre-modern times.

For your edification, here are some prominent examples:

Socrates and Plato: In an attempt to outsmart his perpetually smug teacher at the third annual Greek National Spelling Bee held at the Grand Hyatt Athens in 401 B.C., Plato sparked controversy by employing shadow puppets on the brightly lit north wall of the banquet hall to help him spell out different entries. The winning word: "aëricumbens."

Marie Antoinette: The somewhat unpopular queen of France hired a sketch artist to secretly document agitators cutting into bread lines. Once the drawings were discovered, along with a recording of her saying, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" she was guillotined on Oct. 16, 1793 outside of a Le Pain Quotidien just before the lunch rush.

Burr-Hamilton duel: On the morning of July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton met at a dueling ground in Weehawken, N.J., near Bed Bath & Beyond. They agreed to stand back-to-back, then each would take 10 paces before firing. But Burr had one of his seconds hold a large vanity mirror in front of him, so he could see precisely where Hamilton was at the conclusion of the 10 steps. Burr then fired a fatal shot into Hamilton's lower abdomen.

Battle of the Little Bighorn: As George Armstrong Custer led U.S. troops toward Little Bighorn Valley on June 25, 1876, Lakota chief Crazy Horse utilized two sublime tactics to outmaneuver the lieutenant colonel: A primitive GPS device, tracking the government soldiers' movement via Pringles left on the incoming trail, combined with smoke signals sent back to the camp. This allowed Native American forces to ambush Custer and his infantry.

"Rear Window": In direct violation of HOA regulations, photographer J.J. "Jeff" Jefferies – confined to his condo because of a broken leg – routinely used binoculars to eavesdrop on his Greenwich Village neighbors in 1954. This led him to witnessing a marital spat, followed by his suspicions that the husband killed his wife and buried something incriminating in the garden. The neighbor was arrested but eventually acquitted of murder charges while Jefferies got convicted under the city's recently enacted peeping Tom laws.

Macy's vs. Gimbels: During the famed department-store rivalry in the 1960s and '70s, Gimbels – using a Polaroid camera with a telephoto lens – took snapshots of Macy's shoppers' credit cards as they paid at the register to steal customers. Did Gimbels tell Macy's? No. But Macy's found out through an anonymous whistleblower; Gimbels lost face and went out of business in 1986.

New York City garbage strike: Boy, the streets sure stank of garbage when the sanitation workers walked out in 1968. Teamsters leaders sped up talks the old-fashioned way – they woke up city negotiators each morning with one trash can thrown through a living room window, with two trash cans on off-days and three on weekends. When all else failed, they took a baseball bat to Mayor John Lindsay's office and asked him if he wanted to step outside.

New England Patriots: Uh, duh.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Agent Drew Rosenhaus terminated his relationship with Antonio Brown until the free-agent wide receiver seeks help. Exactly what type of help? (Ron Kirkpatrick; Chicago)

A. Frankly, I thought Brown might end his relationship with Rosenhaus until ITAL he END ITAL got help.

Q. Are the regular LSU boosters annoyed they were not invited to personally hand out cash to the players in the Superdome after the championship win? (Mike Soper; Washington, D.C.)

A. Nah, that was scheduled for the Red Lobster in Baton Rouge the following afternoon.

Q. Given their history, would it count toward diversity if the Cleveland Browns hired their first competent coach? (Rich Tucker; Falls Church, Va.)

A. We may never find out.

Q. Would MLB have considered managing the Mets punishment enough for Carlos Beltran's role in the Astros cheating scandal? (Stuart Gavurin; Vienna, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!


SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome