Astros complete the series sweep with win in extra innings

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With two wins in the books, the Astros looked for the sweep on Sunday afternoon with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Here is how the game went down:

Final Score (12 innings): Astros 6, A's 4.

Record: 40-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Josh James (3-0, 4.78 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lou Trevino (2-3, 4.25 ERA).

1) Unusual day for Cole

Gerrit Cole did not have his best stuff on Sunday but still managed to come out of it with a win. Cole was not his usual dominant self, which showed in the bottom of the second inning when he allowed the A's to go ahead 2-1 on two solo home runs.

Still, he was able to keep Oakland to just those two runs, but it came with a lot more balls in play than strikeouts, resulting in his lowest strikeout total in a game this season at four. He'd leave the game in line for the win after six innings, posting a final line of 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

2) Straw scores three times including the go-ahead in extras

Derek Fisher started the game with a ground-rule double to give the Astros and immediate scoring opportunity in the top of the first inning. Two outs later Yuli Gurriel would convert the opportunity, hitting an RBI-double to get the quick 1-0 lead.

Down 2-1 in the fifth, the Astros strung together some more offense by putting runners on the corners before both would score on an error-filled play to put Houston back in front 3-2. Myles Straw's speed helped manufacture another run in the seventh. Straw worked a one-out walk, stole second easily, then scored from second on an RBI-single by Derek Fisher, extending Houston's lead to 4-2.

Straw would prove vital yet again in the top of the twelfth inning, leading the inning off with a single, stealing second (yes, again), then scoring on a one-out RBI single by Michael Brantley to put Houston back in front 5-4. They'd tack on another before the inning was over on an RBI-single from Gurriel, his second RBI of the day to make it a 6-4 Houston advantage.

3) Rough start for bullpen, great finish

Will Harris, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the night before, was called on for the seventh during which he'd allow a solo home run to get the A's within one at 4-3. Ryan Pressly took over for the eighth inning in the one-run game, but he'd allow a rare run on a solo home run to tie the game at 4-4 before getting out of the inning.

With the game tied, it was Hector Rondon brought in for the ninth, and he'd send the game to extra innings with a scoreless inning. After already being warmed up, Roberto Osuna came in for the bottom of the tenth to extend the game further, and would do so by working around a leadoff single with three-straight strikeouts to end the inning. Josh James was next up for the bottom of the eleventh, and was able to retire the side to force yet another inning.

After getting two runs in the top of the inning, James stayed in the game to put an end to things, and did so, completing the series sweep with a scoreless inning in the bottom of the twelfth.

Up Next: Houston will continue this west coast road trip by starting a four-game series with the Mariners tomorrow at 9:00 PM. Corbin Martin (1-1, 5.51 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros looking to rebound from a few rough starts. Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 6.99 ERA) will pitch for the Mariners.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Ronel Blanco has been suspended for 10 games. Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images.

Astros starter Ronel Blanco received a 10-game suspension Wednesday for violating MLB’s prohibitions on foreign substances after being ejected from the game against the Oakland Athletics.

The suspension was announced by Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of on-field operations. The suspension will begin Wednesday night unless Blanco appeals the penalty, which also includes an undisclosed fine.

Blanco was ejected at the start of the fourth inning of the 2-1 win over Oakland on Tuesday after umpires found a foreign substance that first base umpire Erich Bacchus said was “the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove.”

Third base umpire Laz Diaz ejected Blanco after a check of his glove before he threw a pitch in the fourth inning. The umpires, Blanco and Houston manager Joe Espada stood at the mound for a couple of minutes discussing the issue before the right-hander was ejected.

Bacchus said there was nothing on Blanco’s glove when he checked it in the middle of the first, but he discovered it when he did his second check before the fourth.

“I felt something inside the glove,” Bacchus said. “It was the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove since we’ve been doing this for a few years now.”

After Bacchus discovered the substance he called the rest of the crew in to confer.

“Everybody checked the glove to make sure we all had the same thing and he had to get ejected because he had a foreign substance on his glove,” Diaz said.

Blanco denied using an illegal substance.

“Just probably rosin I put on my left arm,” he said in Spanish through a translator. “Maybe because of the sweat it got into the glove and that’s maybe what they found.”

Espada added that when he went to the mound he saw “white powder” inside Blanco’s glove.

“It looked to me when I grabbed the glove (that) there was some rosin,” Espada said. “You’re not allowed to use rosin on your non-pitching hand and that’s what it looked like to me. It was a little bit sticky with the moisture and the sweat but that’s what it looked like to me.”

Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut, allowed four hits and struck out one in three scoreless innings Tuesday. He has a 2.09 ERA this season.

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