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.

Houston will look to even the series in Game 2

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: ALCS Game 2 Preview

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Houston's performance in Game 1 of the ALCS was a night to forget. The Yankees dominated on both sides of the ball en route to a 7-0 victory, which halted any momentum that Houston had built by winning their way into the series with their big Game 5 win in the ALDS.

However, the ALCS is a seven-game series, which means that overcoming a 1-0 deficit is something that a team of Houston's caliber should be able to do. What the Astros have in their favor is that they had arguably their worst starter of the first three games take the mound in Game 1, and in Game 2, they will have Justin Verlander. Here is a quick preview of Game 2 that will take place Sunday night:

Game Facts

When: Sunday, 7:08 p.m Central.

Where: Minute Maid Park - Houston, Texas.

TV: FS1.

Streaming: Fox Sports App.

Pitching matchup: Justin Verlander vs. James Paxton

Series: Yankees lead 1-0.

Series schedule

Date & Time (Central)LocationPitching matchup
Game 1Yankees 7, Astros 0Minute Maid Park, Houston TXGreinke (L) vs Tanaka (W)
Game 2Sunday 10/13, 7:08 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXVerlander vs Paxton
Game 3Tuesday 10/15, 3:08 PMYankee Stadium, Bronx NYCole vs Severino
Game 4Wednesday 10/16, 7:08 PMYankee Stadium, Bronx NYTBD vs TBD
Game 5*Thursday 10/17, 7:08 PMYankee Stadium, Bronx NYTBD vs TBD
Game 6*Saturday 10/19, 3:08 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXTBD vs TBD
Game 7*Sunday 10/20, 6:38 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXTBD vs TBD

* If necessary
+ Projected Starters

Game Storylines

Houston needs a big day from Verlander

With the Yankees' bats overpowering Houston pitching in Game 1, the Astros will look to Justin Verlander to try and hold the potent lineup in check to keep them from putting the game out of reach as they did on Saturday against Zack Greinke and Ryan Pressly. Verlander will rise to the moment well, like he always does, and could be just what the Astros need to hold New York at bay.

The intriguing storyline to see will be how Verlander can manage his pitch count. Greinke was able to do great in this area on Saturday, finishing six innings with a pitch count that, if needed, could have allowed him to go deeper. With Verlander working for more strikeouts than contact, it would be a significant benefit to the Astros if he can go deep into Game 2.

Astros need offense to build on

Houston's bats went nearly silent in Game 1. They cannot allow that to happen again on Sunday. While coming out and putting up a huge first inning would bode well for them, the Astros would also do well to get some offense to build on in the early goings of the game to capture some momentum that they can use to get the crowd behind them to shake the Yankees off their game.

I would expect one, or several, of Houston's key bats to have a huge game to even this series up before it shifts to the Bronx for three games. As was seen in Game 1, it's unlikely that the Yankees will go down without getting a few big hits that usually result in runs. The Astros need to put up as many runs as possible to keep the Yankees out of reach.

Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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