Astros complete the series sweep with win in extra innings

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With two wins in the books, the Astros looked for the sweep on Sunday afternoon with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Here is how the game went down:

Final Score (12 innings): Astros 6, A's 4.

Record: 40-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Josh James (3-0, 4.78 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lou Trevino (2-3, 4.25 ERA).

1) Unusual day for Cole

Gerrit Cole did not have his best stuff on Sunday but still managed to come out of it with a win. Cole was not his usual dominant self, which showed in the bottom of the second inning when he allowed the A's to go ahead 2-1 on two solo home runs.

Still, he was able to keep Oakland to just those two runs, but it came with a lot more balls in play than strikeouts, resulting in his lowest strikeout total in a game this season at four. He'd leave the game in line for the win after six innings, posting a final line of 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

2) Straw scores three times including the go-ahead in extras

Derek Fisher started the game with a ground-rule double to give the Astros and immediate scoring opportunity in the top of the first inning. Two outs later Yuli Gurriel would convert the opportunity, hitting an RBI-double to get the quick 1-0 lead.

Down 2-1 in the fifth, the Astros strung together some more offense by putting runners on the corners before both would score on an error-filled play to put Houston back in front 3-2. Myles Straw's speed helped manufacture another run in the seventh. Straw worked a one-out walk, stole second easily, then scored from second on an RBI-single by Derek Fisher, extending Houston's lead to 4-2.

Straw would prove vital yet again in the top of the twelfth inning, leading the inning off with a single, stealing second (yes, again), then scoring on a one-out RBI single by Michael Brantley to put Houston back in front 5-4. They'd tack on another before the inning was over on an RBI-single from Gurriel, his second RBI of the day to make it a 6-4 Houston advantage.

3) Rough start for bullpen, great finish

Will Harris, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the night before, was called on for the seventh during which he'd allow a solo home run to get the A's within one at 4-3. Ryan Pressly took over for the eighth inning in the one-run game, but he'd allow a rare run on a solo home run to tie the game at 4-4 before getting out of the inning.

With the game tied, it was Hector Rondon brought in for the ninth, and he'd send the game to extra innings with a scoreless inning. After already being warmed up, Roberto Osuna came in for the bottom of the tenth to extend the game further, and would do so by working around a leadoff single with three-straight strikeouts to end the inning. Josh James was next up for the bottom of the eleventh, and was able to retire the side to force yet another inning.

After getting two runs in the top of the inning, James stayed in the game to put an end to things, and did so, completing the series sweep with a scoreless inning in the bottom of the twelfth.

Up Next: Houston will continue this west coast road trip by starting a four-game series with the Mariners tomorrow at 9:00 PM. Corbin Martin (1-1, 5.51 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros looking to rebound from a few rough starts. Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 6.99 ERA) will pitch for the Mariners.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome