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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Another win for the Coogs! Photo by Getty Images.

The Cougars were supposed to play a game in Tampa against The University of South Florida on Jan. 14th, but this contest was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the USF program. Houston was able to take advantage of the extra time off to rest their players and prepare for their next game against UCF.

Their previous game against the Knights in Orlando on December 26th was a close matchup which saw UCF and the Cougars tied at halftime. The second half was a back-and-fourth contest between the two teams, but Houston was able to come away with a nine point victory.

This game however was nowhere near as close and their previous meeting.

Houston immediately got off to a 12-0 start thanks to four straight 3-pointers from DeJon Jarreau (2x), Marcus Sasser & Quentin Grimes.

The Cougars continued to surge past the knights and at one point led 38-9 with 3:43 left to go in the contest.

Houston led 45-19 at halftime, their largest first half lead of the season.

The Cougars were able to maintain their commanding lead with both efficient scoring early on and elite level defense. Houston forced UCF to commit 20 turnovers that resulted in 22 points for the Cougars.

The Cougars won most of their games this season with commanding defense, dominating the boards and superior guard play. All three boxes were checked as Houston was able to secure a 75-58 victory.

UCF did outscore Houston in the second half 39-30, but the Cougars' lead proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to overcome for the Knights. Essentially, Houston was on cruse control the second half of the game and never saw their lead drop below double digits.

Grimes scored in double figures for his 11th straight game after opening the season with eight points against Lamar. Senior forward Justin Gorham scored a season high 15 points as well.

Houston has now won its fourth straight game since its loss to Tulsa and now remain in sole position of 1st place in the AAC.

The Cougars moved up from No.11 to the 8th ranked team in the country as multiple top-ranked teams suffered losses over the week.

Kelvin Sampson passed former Houston coach Tom Penders as he earned his 650th career win. This also moves him into sole possession of 41st place on the NCAA wins list. He is also the second winningest coach in Houston Cougars Men's Basketball history behind only the great Guy Lewis.

UP NEXT: Houston looks to exact revenge against the only team to defeat them this season as they host Tulsa at the Fertitta Center on Wednesday at 7pm.

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