Astros get win number 50 on the season

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 5-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After a day off on Monday to celebrate putting an end to their losing streak on Sunday, the Astros were back home in Houston on Tuesday night to face the Pirates. It also marked the return of George Springer to the lineup, getting them one step closer to being a fully-healthy roster. Here is how the series opener went:

Final Score: Astros 5, Pirates 1.

Record: 50-30, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (7-5, 3.42 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.25 ERA).

1) Return of Springer

The Astros had to be thrilled to have one of their best sluggers back in the lineup in George Springer on Tuesday night. Springer would resume his spot as the leadoff hitter, but it would be Yuli Gurriel who made the first splash on offense. After a leadoff double by Alex Bregman to start the fourth, Gurriel would deliver a two-out two-run home run to give Houston a 2-0 lead.

After the Pirates trimmed the lead to one run in the top of the sixth, Houston answered immediately with a solo home run by Alex Bregman to leadoff the bottom of the inning, putting the lead back at two runs at 3-1. Josh Reddick led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, tagged ahead to third on a fly out, then scored on a sac fly from Robinson Chirinos to extend the lead to 4-0. Springer would end up getting his first hit later in that same inning but would be left stranded.

Alex Bregman notched his third hit of the night by leading the bottom of the eighth off with a single. He'd advance to third base after a couple of wild pitches, then scored on an RBI-double by Yordan Alvarez, extending the lead to 5-1.

2) Cole throws six and allows one run

Although it wasn't a typical strikeout-filled start for Gerrit Cole, he still managed to make it a solid night. Cole, with a little help from another homer-robbing catch from Josh Reddick, didn't allow a run until the end of his game, giving up a two-out RBI-single in the top of the sixth to bring the Pirates within a run at 2-1. He would get the last out of that inning, bringing his final line to 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR.

That left it up to the bullpen to complete the final three innings. Josh James came in for the seventh and retired Pittsburgh in order including two strikeouts. Will Harris was next out, and thanks to a couple of great defensive plays was able to record a quick 1-2-3 inning. Collin McHugh, also making his return from the IL today along with George Springer, pitched his first inning of work and was able to get a scoreless inning to secure Houston's 50th win of the year.

Up Next: Houston and Pittsburgh will continue this series with game two tomorrow at 7:10 PM. The Pirates have not yet announced their starter, but the Astros will send Framber Valdez (3-3, 3.61 ERA) to the mound for another start, and will try to rebound from his rough outing in New York this past weekend.

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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