Astros split the series with the Brewers

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

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After powering past the Brewers in the first of the two-game series, the Astros looked to get the mini-sweep on Wednesday night with Justin Verlander on the mound. Yordan Alvarez also sought to continue providing impact power in his third time in the lineup. Here is a quick rundown of the game:

Final Score: Brewers 6, Astros 3.

Record: 46-23, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Adrian Houser (2-1, 2.49 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Cionel Perez (1-1, 5.40 ERA).


1) Verlander battles against the long ball while fanning career-high 15 

One of the few blemishes on an otherwise great start to Justin Verlander's season: home runs. Verlander allowed a solo home run in each of the first two innings, making it 13 of his 15 starts that he has allowed a home run this season. He'd sit on the hook with the Brewers up 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Houston's offense was able to give him a lead.

He worked well with that lead through the middle innings, dominating the Brewers and allowing just one hit in the third through sixth innings. He had struck out six in a row before getting tagged with the third solo home run of the game in the top of the seventh, allowing the Brewers to tie the game 3-3.

Still, if you exclude the three solo home runs, he had a dominant night including hitting a new career-high in strikeouts. However, the three home runs would keep him out of contention for the win as his night ended after seven innings. Verlander's final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 15 K, 3 HR.

2) Astros get some two-out magic in the fourth

In a 2-0 hole and with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, the Astros were able to string together some baserunners and take advantage to get on the board and take their first lead of the night. Yuli Gurriel started the sequence with a two-out single, followed by Yordan Alvarez who worked a walk.

Robinson Chirinos scored one on an RBI-single to cut the lead in half at 2-1, then Tony Kemp hit a ball that snuck into the left-center field corner around the Crawford Boxes to score two more and make it a 3-2 Houston advantage.

3) Bullpen holds Brewers back until the fourteenth

Ryan Pressly took over for Verlander to pitch the eighth inning, a scoreless frame with two strikeouts to keep the game tied at 3-3. After coming away empty-handed in the bottom of the eighth, Roberto Osuna took the mound for the top of the ninth to try and keep the game tied to the bottom of the ninth. He did so, but not without baserunners after he allowed two singles to put runners on the corners with one out, but was able to get back-to-back strikeouts to keep the Brewers from scoring.

That put the power in Houston's hand for the bottom of the ninth, but Milwaukee's bullpen would hold, forcing extra innings. In the top of the tenth, Will Harris provided another scoreless inning, retiring the Brewers in order. Myles Straw came in as a pinch-hitter to lead off the bottom of the tenth and worked a walk to get his speed on base. Straw looked to steal second base, but instead, a review overturned the call on the field, then a double play sent the game to the eleventh.

Josh James was the next arm out of the bullpen for Houston in the top of the eleventh and struck out the side, but the game would go on. In the top of the twelfth, Hector Rondon worked around a leadoff walk to keep the game tied, then still going in the thirteenth Cionel Perez came in and made it another 1-2-3 inning.

Perez would try to keep going in the fourteenth inning, but the Brewers would finally break the tie with a two-run home run and RBI-single to go up 6-3 which would go down as the final score to make the series a split.

Up Next: Houston will get their second day off this week with Thursday being another chance for them to rest. Friday they'll start a three-game series with the Blue Jays for Father's Day weekend. The first game of the series will be at 7:10 PM Friday and is expected to feature Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.72 ERA) for the Astros opposite of Aaron Sanchez (3-7, 4.25 ERA) for Toronto. Cole will look to stay locked in after his seven-inning, fourteen-strikeout start last week.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Astros rough offseason continues

Cole's deal with Yankees changes the AL landscape

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In what came as a surprise to no one, former Astro Gerrit Cole is now a New York Yankee. Cole signed a record nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees.

While the Astros were never in the running to re-sign Cole, his signing with New York comes as a double whammy. The Yankees were only four wins behind the Astros during the regular season and pushed them to six games in the ALCS. Poaching Cole, who was 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts, easily flip flops the two teams. The Astros have no one to replace Cole's production, no matter what they do. The Yankees just added a legitimate ace, and stamped themselves as the new favorites in the AL.

For the Astros, it was an expected blow, and just the latest in what has been a rough off-season filled with scandal and now rumors that Carlos Correa may be on the block.

What's next for Astros?

Part of the price of success is your players have to get paid. Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve are locked down, but Correa and George Springer are due for big deals, and the Astros have expressed a desire to keep the payroll under control. That is not good news for the 2020 Astros and beyond.

The Astros have an easy solution for Correa; moving Alex Bregman to short and Yuli Gurriel to third, and look for a cheaper option at first base. Correa's injury history has limited his production, so that's a loss they could stomach.

The losses mount

But there is no ready solution for Cole. Lance McCullers is expected back, and Jose Urquidy will get likely get a chance. They will also look for a bargain basement, Wade Miley type. But in general, the Astros - with or without Correa - will not be as good next season. While they will still be title contenders and there is plenty of time to fill some holes (they did, after all, trade for Cole two seasons ago), they won't be the favorites in the AL.

That honor now belongs to the Yankees.

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