Astros drop game one of three to Angels

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 5-4 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Riding a five-game winning steak, the Astros were back at home on Friday night after a day off looking to go into the All-Star break with another series win and sweep. Here is how the first of three games went:

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Record: 55-33, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Felix Pena (6-2, 4.72 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98 ERA).

1) Verlander's struggle with home runs continues

After two quick innings to start the game, Justin Verlander would watch more balls leave the yard in the third inning, making it five straight games with a home run allowed as well as at least three earned runs after a two-run home run by Kole Calhoun then later a solo home run by Shohei Ohtani.

Verlander looked to be back in control after that, until the top of the sixth inning when he allowed a solo home run to lead off the inning, extending the Angels' lead to 4-2. The night didn't come without a highlight, though, as Verlander would get enough strikeouts to pass up Jim Bunning to take over 18th place on the all-time strikeout leaders list.

He would end up still getting through seven innings to save the bullpen's arms. Verlander's final line: 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 3 HR.

2) Unable to close the gap

Michael Brantley was looking in All-Star form in his first at-bat, getting a solo home run to put Houston ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. After Los Angeles scored three runs on homers of their own in the top of the third, the Astros trimmed their lead to one run when Yuli Gurriel scored Brantley on an RBI-groundout, making it 3-2.

The Angels extended their lead back to 4-2 in the sixth inning, and the Astros wasted a chance in the bottom half of the inning, getting runners on second and third with no outs, loading the bases with two outs, but coming away empty handed. Hector Rondon took over for Justin Verlander to pitch the eighth, but he too would fall victim of a Los Angeles home run, giving up a solo shot to Mike Trout to make it a 5-2 game.

The Astros got a shot in the arm in the bottom of the eighth, getting two more RBIs from Yuli Gurriel who continued his monster pace of late with a two-run home run to trim the lead to 5-4. Josh James was next out of the bullpen and pitched the ninth, a scoreless inning to keep it a one-run game.

Up Next: The Astros will be part of another nationally-televised Saturday evening game on FOX tomorrow at 6:15 PM. The probable starters are Gerrit Cole (8-5, 3.28 ERA) for the Astros going against Andrew Heaney (1-2, 5.40 ERA) for the Angels.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Astros finish the series with a win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With an overpowering win on Wednesday night, the Astros went into the series finale on Thursday night hoping to split the series and travel back to Houston on a good note. Here is how the game went:

Final Score: Astros 6, Angels 2.

Record: 61-37, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (8-4, 3.25 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Matt Harvey (3-5, 7.09 ERA).

1) Bats stay hot

Houston's offense provided another significant lead early in Thursday night's game, getting two two-out walks in the top of the first to set up a two-RBI double by Yordan Alvarez to take an immediate 2-0 lead. They followed that up with a three-run third inning, including RBIs from Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel along with a solo home run by George Springer.

Alex Bregman extended the lead in the fifth, getting a solo home run of his own to make it a 6-0 lead. They would ride those six runs all the way to the end to the victory.

2) Miley with a decent start

Wade Miley had an excellent start to his night, getting through the first four innings without allowing a hit with just a couple of walks. He allowed the first hit to the Angels in the fifth, but would not allow a run until the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, Miley would have his worst inning of the evening, allowing a couple of hits which paired with an error would end up putting the Angels in position to trim the lead to 6-2. Will Harris came in to finish off the inning.

Still, it was a decent night for Miley, and with the early offense behind him, he was able to leave in line for the win. His final line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3K, 0 HR.

3) Bullpen finishes off the series split

After Harris finished off the sixth for Miley, the seventh belonged to Collin McHugh. Mchugh worked around a one-out double, keeping it at 6-2 heading to the eighth.

Ryan Pressly took over for his usual eighth-inning role, and he was able to work around a leadoff double by Mike Trout by retiring the next three batters to send things to the ninth. Roberto Osuna came in for the ninth and recorded the final three outs, despite a two-out triple, to complete the win.

Up Next: The Astros will take a late-night flight back to Houston tonight to start a weekend three-game series with the Rangers beginning on Friday night. The series opener will be at 7:10 PM tomorrow and it the expected pitching matchup is Mike Minor (8-4, 2.73 ERA) for the Rangers going up against Houston's ace, Justin Verlander (11-4, 2.98 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome