Astros finally snap their losing streak

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 9-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Once again the Astros would take the field with hopes of ending their current losing streak by finding a way to break out of their recent slump and run of bad luck. A victory would not only get them back in the win column; it would secure the season-series win against the Yankees with the first six games being split 3-3 between the two teams. Here's how the series finale wound up:

Final Score: Astros 9, Yankees 4.

Record: 49-30, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (10-3, 2.67 ERA).

Losing pitcher: J.A. Happ (7-4, 5.23 ERA).

1) Bats finally connect

In his interim role as the leadoff hitter, Jose Altuve set the tone of the game in the very first at-bat by launching a solo home run to put Houston ahead 1-0. Altuve would score again in the third inning, this time on an RBI-single by Michael Brantley to extend the lead to 2-0.

Then, in the top of the fourth, the Astros finally looked like the daunting lineup they are supposed to be. They started the inning on three consecutive singles by Yuli Gurriel, Robinson Chirinos, and Josh Reddick to load the bases for Tyler White. White would deliver his third home run of the season, a grand slam to extend Houston's lead to 6-0.

They would continue to score in the next inning, getting a leadoff single from Michael Brantley to set up a two-run home run from Yordan Alvarez, his third in this four-game series and his seventh in his first twelve games. Yuli Gurriel made it back-to-back home runs in the next at-bat, hitting a solo shot to make it a 9-0 Houston lead.

2) Verlander gets win number 10 

Justin Verlander provided another great start for his team, working well with and maintaining the lead he was given throughout the afternoon. Verlander allowed just one hit and two walks over the first four innings before allowing a couple of two-out singles then a three-run home run in the fifth.

That made it a 9-3 game, and Verlander would lock right back in and retire the next seven batters in order to complete seven innings during which he'd notch nine more strikeouts. The win put him at ten on the season, moving him back into the tie on top of the AL for wins. Verlander's final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR.

3) Devenski and Osuna finish off the win

With Verlander's day done after seven innings of three-run baseball, Chris Devenski took over in the eighth and would allow a run before sending things on to the ninth. Roberto Osuna, who hadn't pitched since Wednesday, was given some work despite the non-save situation and was able to close things out to provide Houston with their first victory since beating the Blue Jays last Saturday.

Up Next: Houston will travel back to Houston tomorrow and enjoy a much-needed day off on Monday to refresh and reset for a six-game homestand starting on Tuesday. They'll pick up a three-game series with the Pirates on Tuesday at 7:10 PM with game one featuring Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.54 ERA) on the mound for the Astros facing his former team. The Pirates are expected to counter with Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.12 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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