Astros thump Blue Jays in game one of three

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 4 hits from the 15-2 win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 4 hits from the 15-2 win
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a day off on Thursday, the Astros were back at Minute Maid Park on Friday night to host a Father's Day weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays. Gerrit Cole was on the mound for Houston hoping to repeat the success of his seven-inning fourteen-strikeout start he had last time out. Here's how the first game of the series went:

Final Score: Astros 15, Blue Jays 2.

Record: 47-23, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.67 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Aaron Sanchez (3-8, 5.04 ERA).

1) Taking a commanding early lead, tacking on more late

After the Blue Jays loaded the bases in the top of the first and came away empty, the Astros would have no such problem, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first including a bases-loaded two-RBI single by Robinson Chirinos to start the scoring for the night. Josh Reddick was next up and provided a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-0 lead after one.

They kept scoring in the next two innings, getting a three-run home run from Alex Bregman in the bottom of the second to make it 6-0, then a two-run homer by Tony Kemp in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 8-0.

Up 10-2 in the eighth inning, the Astros tacked on more runs for good measure, loading the bases before an RBI-walk from Yordan Alvarez followed immediately by a grand slam from Robinson Chirinos to make it a 15-2 Houston lead.

2) Alvarez goes 3 for 4 with a home run and RBI-walk

Yordan Alvarez made it three out of four games with a home run in the bottom of the fourth, launching a mammoth two-run dinger to make it a 10-0 lead after four innings. He also hit two singles, one in the bottom of the first then another in the bottom of the sixth. He'd get a chance for some more RBIs in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, but would have to settle for a walk to give him his third RBI of the night.

The home run made it three out of his first four games with a home run, the first to do so in Astros franchise history. The 3 RBIs in the game brought his total to 7 over four games, and he also increased his average to .385.

3) Cole with another double-digit strikeout start

Gerrit Cole encountered some trouble in the first inning, loading the bases after a hit batter, a walk, and a single, but would be able to get out of the trouble without allowing a run. He settled in after that, only faltering in the fifth by allowing a leadoff walk, one-out single, then a two-RBI double to Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Fame member Craig, to trim the large lead to 10-2.

Cole would still manage to complete six innings and record another double-digit strikeout inning with ten. His final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K.

4) Armenteros makes his debut and finishes last three innings

With the eight-run lead, Gerrit Cole wasn't asked to extend himself past the sixth inning getting close to 100 pitches, so after the fourteen-inning affair on Wednesday night, the Astros went to the fresher arm of Rogelio Armenteros to make his MLB-debut in the top of the seventh.

Armenteros did well, working around a leadoff single in the seventh which was his only one of two hits allowed en route to three scoreless innings including three strikeouts.

Up Next: This series will continue tomorrow afternoon with the game starting at 3:10 PM. Framber Valdez (2-2, 2.73 ERA) will have the chance for another start on the mound for Houston and will go against Clayton Richard (0-2, 7.04 ERA) for Toronto.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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These uniforms have to go. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

Major League Baseball will consider going back to having players wear their team uniforms for the All-Star Game.

Club uniforms were used by the American League from 1933-2019 and by the National League from 1934-2019. When the game resumed in 2021 following the pandemic-related cancellation in 2020, MLB had started a uniform contract with Nike and Fanatics, and All-Stars were outfitted in specially designed league uniforms that drew criticism from traditionalists.

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

This year's AL uniforms had a sandy base with red sleeves and lettering and the NL had a navy base with light blue sleeves and lettering.

“I’m aware of the sentiment on this issue,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday. "I think where my head is on it, it’s something we’re going to have a conversation about coming out of the All-Star Game. We've got a lot of uniform things going on. And, obviously, the conversations have to involve the players first and foremost but Nike, some of our partners. But I am aware of the sentiment, and I do know why people kind of like that tradition."

MLB and Nike were criticized for club uniforms this year and said in May that 2025 club outfits will have larger lettering on the back of jerseys and individual pant customization. Players complained this year that white pants worn by some teams are see-through enough to show tucked-in jersey tops.

Regional sports networks

Manfred said a national steaming package of local television broadcasts is a future possibility.

“I could see a situation where we grow into a 30-club model. It might start on the digital side, where you have 14 or 15 clubs, and, you start with a digital product there as your first alternative,” he said.

“I was in Sun Valley last week and I did the whole speed-dating thing with everybody who’s ever streamed anything. When you talk to people in the streaming business, they’re not really interested in buying the state of Wisconsin and two counties in Michigan," Manfred added. "They want to be able to stream quite frankly, all over the U.S. and Canada but more broadly internationally. So I think those conversations are a product of owners saying, holy cow, the RSN business is really deteriorating. We know the future’s going to be streaming. What we’re hearing from the streamers is they want a more national product, and we need to be responsive to what people want to buy.”

MLB took over production of Arizona and San Diego local television broadcasts last year following the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports’ Bally networks and said MLB will be available as an option for teams looking for new deals. He said Padres game are approaching 40,000 subscribers, which he called a good figure.

“Having said that, from a revenue perspective it is not generating what the RSNs did," Manfred said. "The RSNs were a great business. Lots of people paid for programing they didn’t necessarily want. And it’s hard to replicate that kind of revenue absent that kind of bundling concept.”

Offense

While offense is near half-century lows, it has picked up from early in the season.

“The decline in offense is something that we’re paying a lot of attention to and we’ll continue to monitor to make a decision as to whether we think we need to do something. You do hear a lot of chatter about the dominance of pitching in the game. That’s absolutely true.”

Birmingham

After the success of the June 20 game between San Francisco and St. Louis at Rickwood Field, Manfred said MLB will return to the ballpark in Birmingham, Alabama, but the “exact form” had not been determined.

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