Astros blown out by Pirates

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 14-2 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After getting their 50th win of the season in the series opener against the Pirates on Tuesday night, the Astros sought to continue winning and secure a series win on Wednesday. Here is a recap of the middle game:

Final Score: Pirates 14, Astros 2.

Record: 50-31, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Dario Agrazal (1-0, 2.70 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-4, 4.57 ERA).

1) Valdez digs early hole

Framber Valdez would not be able to provide Houston with a better start than his last outing, and in fact would struggle even more heavily against the Pirates than he did the Yankees last weekend. Valdez struggled with his command, getting into bad counts that Pittsburgh would take advantage of, scoring six runs over the first three innings.

Valdez would finish the third, but with his shaky command and already having the Astros behind 6-1, was lifted in the forth to set up six innings for the bullpen. Valdez’s final line: 3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.

Chris Devenski was able to get through two perfect innings in the forth and fifth, but would allow a two-run home run in the top of the sixth to extend the Pirates’ lead to 8-1. Hector Rondon and Collin McHugh would get through the seventh and eighth innings before Tyler White was thrown into action in the ninth to close things out. He’d allow six runs and only get two outs before Max Stassi would be brought in for the last out.

2) Springer’s leadoff dinger highlights offense

Already facing a 2-0 deficit before getting to the plate, George Springer did his part to try and shift the momentum back Houston’s way by launching a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the first to cut the lead in half.

That would be the only notable offense for Houston until the eight when they'd get an RBI-groundout from Yordan Alvarez to make it an 8-2 game, but that would be as close as they’d get to a rally.

Up Next: The Astros will wrap up this series with the Pirates tomorrow with an afternoon game at 1:10 PM. Houston will have Brad Peacock (6-5, 3.62 ERA) on the mound to face former-Astro Joe Musgrove (5-7, 4.57 ERA) with the series on the line.

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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