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.

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Jae'Sean Tate had himself a night. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

No Christian Wood. No Kevin Porter Jr. No Jalen Green. No problem. Jae’ Sean Tate became a complete superhero for the Houston Rockets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

He recorded 32 points, 10 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 5.0 blocks, and 2.0 steals and shot 73 percent from the field. With that stat line, he joined former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon and other historic big men from the past, which Tim MacMahon reported.

Tate is known for his leadership and the ability to be humble. When a reporter asked Tate about the stat line, he said, “How many turnovers? Nah, 25 assists, that’s what sup! Can’t be mad at that.” An expression like that shows the importance of putting his teammates first before taking all the shine. Tate is providing more passion with communication and being the rock that the "Baby Rockets" can lean on.

Coach Silas' confidence in Tate is something built from last year and it shows. Those two have constant dialogue throughout the game, and it’s seen before the huddle or when Silas is standing on the sideline before he calls a play. Silas has run consistent sets for Tate, as he did that within the 15-game losing streak. He dialed up an out of bounds action with 33.4 seconds left, so Tate could make a clutch layup towards the rim.

“Long, long, long ago in his rookie year…we definitely have a bond and with those two guys out, we needed some scoring,” Silas said. “He was the guy who was playing the hardest from start to finish and down the stretch we ran that elbow iso for him. And he just went through his defender and finished. And he made some huge plays in the 4th quarter, which is what you need. Yeah, I trust him as much as anybody else, and he has earned that, and he deserves it.”

“That just shows the confidence Coach Silas, and my teammates have in me,” said Tate. “We lost some of our primary guys tonight. And not only me, but everybody also stepped up.”

His usage rating is slowly going up, which is posted at 18.9 percent per NBA stats. In isolation, Tate is averaging 1.00 points per possession, which puts him in the 75th percentile(!) per NBA stats. Tate is seeing more action out of the corner, so it can allow him to get to his left hand on offense. The elbow iso action is a play that Tate has run since high school, college, overseas, and in the NBA now. He mentioned that the set allows him to get comfortable when his number is called.

“That’s not my primary role and I think everyone knows that,” Tate said. “I am very confident [in] what I bring to the table offensively. Not only scoring wise but seeing the floor and being able to make [a] decision in space. And that kind of helps me when they overlook the scouting report.”

“[I've] been running that play since I was [in] high school. At Ohio St. I ran that. Even when I was overseas, Will Weaver, that was a play he put in. To have that called tonight, it felt familiar and it’s one of my strengths. And playing in the mid-post area and getting to my left hand.”

Tate was excellent for the Rockets on both sides of the ball, as he had a 116.9 offensive and 108.5 defensive rating with an 82.5 percent in true shooting versus the Thunder. Hopefully, Tate can be the leading catalyst again, as the Rockets face the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans, which are winnable games. It should become a six-game winning streak, as John Wall might play if his condition is right.

Up next: The Rockets face the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

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