Correa and Cole help Astros even the series

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 8-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With their bullpen having a disappointing performance resulting in a loss in the series opener, the Astros looked to Gerrit Cole on Saturday to even the series with the Cardinals. Here is a rundown of the game:

Final Score: Astros 8, Cardinals 2.

Record: 67-39, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (12-5, 2.94 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-1, 3.76 ERA).

1) Correa leads an early offensive charge

Houston took advantage of a struggling Daniel Ponce de Leon early in the game, starting in the first inning. They put runners on the corners with one out, setting up Michael Brantley for an RBI-groundout to start the scoring at 1-0. Carlos Correa doubled that lead in the next at-bat, getting an RBI-single to make it 2-0 in his biggest hit since returning to the lineup.

They put more traffic on base in the third inning, working three consecutive one-out walks, bringing Correa back to the plate. He put up an even bigger highlight than his hit in the first, launching a grand slam to make it a 6-0 game and giving him five RBIs through the first three innings.

2) Cole stays hot

Gerrit Cole continued his hot summer, giving his team yet another dominant start on Saturday night. He allowed just one run, a solo homer to Paul Goldschmidt who has been unstoppable of late. Otherwise, it was another steady, strong night for Houston's other Cy Young contender.

The only thing unusual for Cole in the start was that he didn't record his normal double-digit strikeouts. Instead, he saw a lot more balls in play, though he did not allow more than two hits in any inning. Cole's final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston evens the series

With Cole leaving with a 6-1 lead after seven innings, it should have been easy work for the bullpen to wrap up the last two innings for the win. George Springer helped add some further insurance, though, getting a two-RBI double off the wall in the top of the eighth to extend the lead to 8-1.

Joe Smith was the first reliever out of the bullpen and despite allowing a run to score made it through the eighth inning. During the inning, Carlos Correa would field a force-out from Jose Altuve at second but ended up taking a cleat spike to the arm from the incoming slide. He remained in the game to finish the inning.

Hector Rondon had the ninth, and preserved the six-run lead to finish off the win and put the series even at a game apiece.

Up Next: These two teams will conclude this series tomorrow with a 1:15 PM start time with the series on the line. Houston is expected to start quick-working Wade Miley (8-4, 3.18 ERA), while the Cardinals will counter with Dakota Hudson (10-4, 3.61 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

With the MLB Winter Meetings in full swing, several rumors are starting to swirl about the Astros listening to offers for shortstop Carlos Correa.

Andy Martino of SNY reports the Mets and Astros have had discussions regarding Correa, but nothing seems serious at this point. That report was enough to get the attention of Carlos Correa who called GM Jeff Luhnow to find out if there's any truth to the rumors.

ESPN 97.5's Charlie Pallilo shares his thoughts on the possibility of Correa getting traded, if Josh Reddick could be involved in the deal, and much more.

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