Astros complete the series sweep with win in extra innings

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.

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After a tightly contested ALCS Game 2, the Astros were able to come out on top with a 3-2 win to even the series. Justin Verlander threw a great game while Carlos Correa came through with the walk-off homer in the bottom of the eleventh inning.

In ALCS Game 1, it was all Yankees as they overpowered Houston at the plate and on the mound en route to a shutout victory to steal a road game to start the seven-game series. Houston turned their attention to Game 2 with a fully-rested Justin Verlander on the mound to try and even the series. Here is how the game unfolded:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 3, Yankees 2.

Series: tied 1-1.

Winning Pitcher: Josh James.

Losing Pitcher: J.A. Happ.

Astros force Paxton out early after taking early lead


Houston's offense started on the right foot on Sunday in ALCS Game 2. After stranding a runner in the bottom of the first, the Astros scored first in the bottom of the second after Alex Bregman lasered a leadoff single, moved to second on a walk to Yordan Alvarez, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly by Yuli Gurriel, then scored on an RBI-double by Carlos Correa.

The run was a significant momentum boost for Houston, who had been shutout in the Game 1 loss. Although James Paxton would get through that inning with only one run allowed, he would allow back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the third, which prompted the Yankees to go to their bullpen early. The moved worked, as Houston would strand both runners to send the game to the fourth.

Verlander does his part


After three perfect innings for Justin Verlander, he would watch his 1-0 lead go away in the top of the fourth. New York's first baserunner of the night came on a leadoff walk allowed by Verlander to start the inning, which turned into a two-run home run blasted by Aaron Judge to center field to put the Yankees up 2-1 to erase Houston's lead.

Those would be the only runs allowed by Verlander, who would do an impressive job of holding the Yankees down over his start. The home run would be one of the few blemishes on a night he was able to induce outs and strikeouts to keep his team in it. He would continue into the seventh inning with a pitch count over 100, but after a two-out walk would be removed to end his night. His final line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.

Correa wins it in extras

After going down 2-1 earlier in the game, Verlander would leave in a 2-2 tie thanks to a solo home run by George Springer in the bottom of the fifth. Will Harris was first out of Houston's bullpen to finish off the seventh, getting a strikeout for the third out. Harris stayed on the mound to start the eighth, getting an out before issuing a walk to prompt AJ Hinch to bring in his closer, Roberto Osuna.

He would get two quick outs to finish the top of the eighth, but New York's bullpen would also hold in the bottom of the inning to send the gridlocked game to the ninth. In the top of the ninth, Osuna would remain in the game and record a quick 1-2-3 frame to give Houston a chance to walk it off in the bottom half. In the bottom of the ninth, a pinch-hitting Aledmys Diaz would work a two-out walk against Aroldis Chapman, giving the Astros a baserunner, but he would be left on base after a strikeout of Springer to end the inning and force extras. Joe Smith was next out of Houston's bullpen to start the top of the tenth and was able to retire the Yankees in order on seven pitches.

In the bottom of the tenth, New York turned to CC Sabathia for a rare relief appearance to face left-handed Michael Brantley, who would ground out for the first out. Jonathan Loaisiga was next out for the Yankees to try and finish the tenth. Instead, he would issue back-to-back one-out walks, resulting in another move to bring in J.A. Happ. Happ would get out of the jam with a strikeout and flyout to move the game to the eleventh.

Smith would get two quick outs in the top of the eleventh before a walk would end his night in favor of Ryan Pressly, who would allow a single, resulting in another change to Josh James, who would get the third out after a lengthy at-bat. In the bottom of the inning, Carlos Correa evened the series with a solo home run to win the game.

Up Next: With the first two games in Houston accounted for, the ALCS will now shift to the Bronx. In Game 3 at 3:08 PM on Tuesday from New York, the pitching matchup will be the electric Gerrit Cole for Houston, who is 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA and 25 strikeouts after his two ALDS starts going up against Luis Severino who went four shutout innings in his ALDS start.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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