Astros demolish the A's to start the series
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 11-1 win
Riding a five-game winning streak including a sweep of the Rangers over the weekend, the Astros began a series with the A's on Monday night. Here is a recap of the series opener:
Final Score: Astros 11, A's 1.
Record: 65-37, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (11-5, 3.03 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Homer Bailey (8-7, 5.42 ERA).
1) 11 runs on the anniversary of Apollo 11
Sometimes you can't predict a story so fitting. After a scoreless first inning, Houston's offense erupted in the second and third innings. It started with Yordan Alvarez who led off the bottom of the second with his eleventh home run. The solo shot to put the Astros on the board at 1-0.
That opened the floodgates as they would go on to score three more runs on an RBI-single by George Springer, RBI-walk by Jose Altuve with the bases loaded, and an RBI-groundout by Alex Bregman. That put Alvarez back at the plate to lead off the third, and he would again spark a big inning.
He walked, setting up a two-run home run by Yuli Gurriel to maintain his unreal pace in recent weeks. They put the next two batters on, which brought Aledmys Diaz to the plate in his first game back from the injured list. He reminded everyone of his power, hitting a home run of his own to score three more runs.
Alvarez would bat again later in the same inning, getting an RBI-double to raise his season total to 35 over his first 30 games. That set a new MLB record over that span of games to start a career. Then, in the next at-bat, Yuli Gurriel would provide another run in the inning on an RBI-single. That made it a seven-run inning, but more notably, gave the Astros an 11-0 lead by scoring eleven runs on eleven hits — all on a night to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
With this 2B, Yordan Alvarez has set a new record for most RBI (35) in a player's first 30 career games. 👏 pic.twitter.com/M5ygezo3w9
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 23, 2019
2) Cole reaches 200 strikeouts with 11 on the night, gets win 11 on the year
It was just another ho-hum night for Gerrit Cole on Monday. He started on fire, striking out four of the first six batters he faced. He allowed his first hits of the night in the fourth, a couple of doubles which scored a run to make it an 11-1 game.
That run was overshadowed quickly by a milestone set by Cole in the start; he recorded the second-fastest time to reach 200 strikeouts in a season. In addition to that, Cole threw yet another double-digit strikeout start. He finished the sixth inning with ten and with a pitch count of 95.
That meant he would get the chance to start the seventh inning and attempt to get strikeout number 11. Not only did he start the top of the seventh with that eleventh strikeout, but he would also go on to complete the inning. Cole's final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11K, 0 HR.
It's July 22.@GerritCole45 has 200 strikeouts. #TipOfTheCap pic.twitter.com/p8EJ6Mp41G
— MLB (@MLB) July 23, 2019
With Cole's terrific night done, Houston went to their bullpen for the final two innings. First up was Hector Rondon who had a scoreless eighth inning. Then, Joe Smith came in for the ninth inning to close things out for Houston's sixth-straight win.
Up Next: Houston will attempt to extend their winning streak to seven games with another game against Oakland tomorrow night at home. The start time is 7:10 PM with an expected pitching matchup of Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.64 ERA) for the A's going up against Wade Miley (8-4, 3.25 ERA) for the Astros.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.