Astros secure the series win as Justin Verlander passes Cy Young

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 5-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After taking the first game of the series on Friday night, the Astros looked to secure yet another series win by getting a victory on Saturday. Here are the facts from the game:

Final Score: Astros 5, A's 1.

Record: 39-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.27 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.95 ERA).

1) Another historic night for Verlander

It was a great all-around night for Justin Verlander on the mound. He did allow a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning which at the time gave Oakland a 1-0 lead, but that would be one of the few blemishes on an otherwise terrific night for Houston's ace. He'd go on to throw eight one-run innings, earning him his ninth win on the season, improving his record to 9-2.

Also, Verlander's sixth and seventh strikeouts on the night put him in a tie then ahead of none other than Cy Young on the all-time strikeout leaderboard and in sole position of 21st on the list of the game's greatest pitchers. Verlander is likely to pass several more before season's end.

With Verlander's night done after eight innings, Will Harris took over to close out the win in the ninth. He'd do, securing the series win and keeping the Astros out to an eight-game lead in the division.

2) Reddick comfortable in Oakland, again

After looking up at a 1-0 deficit early, it was Josh Reddick who provided another dose of power back at his old stomping grounds of the Oakland Coliseum. He connected on a home run in the top of the fourth inning, making it back-to-back games, which with a runner on base made it a go-ahead shot and gave Houston a 2-1 lead, a lead they'd never give up. Alex Bregman was gifted an RBI in the top of the fifth, hitting a shallow shot into right field that fell in on a defensive miscue by Oakland, extending the lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the eighth, Reddick struck again by leading off the inning with a single, setting up a two-run home run by Robinson Chirinos. That gave Houston two more insurance runs with a 5-1 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.

Up Next: The Astros and A's will wrap up this series with a 3:07 PM start time on Sunday afternoon. Gerrit Cole (5-5, 4.02 ERA) will look to get his second win in a row as he continues to rack up dominant strikeout numbers as he goes up against Chris Bassitt (3-1, 3.27 ERA) for Oakland.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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