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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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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