Astros take first of four against the Mariners

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Fresh off a sweep of the A's in Oakland over the weekend, the Astros traveled up the west coast to kick off a four-game series with the Mariners in Seattle on Monday night. Here's a recap of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 4, Mariners 2.

Record: 41-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (2-2, 3.12 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Cory Gearrin (0-2, 4.24 ERA).

1) Coming out swinging

Houston got out to a hot start in this one, putting together a three-run top of the first against opener Cory Gearrin. It started with a one-out walk of Alex Bregman who would score on an RBI-triple from Josh Reddick. Reddick would then score himself on an RBI-groundout by Yuli Gurriel, then Robinson Chirinos hit a two-out solo home run to make it a quick 3-0 lead.

The trio of Bregman, Reddick, and Gurriel came through again in the top of the sixth. Bregman hit a one-out double, Reddick moved him to third with a single, then Gurriel drove in the run on another RBI to make it a 4-2 game.

2) Martin's struggles continue

Corbin Martin needed a motivation-building start to get him back on track after some rough starts in his early major-league career. He wouldn't get it. Martin was able to get through the first two innings scoreless but walked three batters along with some other long at-bats in that span that had him working with a high pitch count early.

That led to some determination to throw strikes in the third, which would, unfortunately, backfire as the Mariners tagged him with two solo home runs, making the third inning his last in a short appearance on a night where the bullpen was looking to rest after the twelve-inning game the day prior — Martin's final line: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3K.

3) Valdez excellent in relief

With Martin only able to make it through three innings, the Astros went to one of their fresh arms in Framber Valdez to try and eat up some innings. He'd end up having a great outing, throwing four scoreless innings during which he allowed two hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts.

Chris Devenski took over on the mound for the eighth inning and was able to get through it scoreless thanks to a little help from Jake Marisnick's daily highlight on defense. The two-run game went to the bottom of the ninth where Ryan Pressly came in to close things out and complete the 4-2 win for Houston.

Up Next: Game two of this series will begin tomorrow night with another 9:10 PM first pitch from Seattle. Wade Miley (5-3, 3.25 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston trying to get back in the win column after getting tagged with a loss last week. The Mariners have not yet announced their starter.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After a tightly contested ALCS Game 2, the Astros were able to come out on top with a 3-2 win to even the series. Justin Verlander threw a great game while Carlos Correa came through with the walk-off homer in the bottom of the eleventh inning.

In ALCS Game 1, it was all Yankees as they overpowered Houston at the plate and on the mound en route to a shutout victory to steal a road game to start the seven-game series. Houston turned their attention to Game 2 with a fully-rested Justin Verlander on the mound to try and even the series. Here is how the game unfolded:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 3, Yankees 2.

Series: tied 1-1.

Winning Pitcher: Josh James.

Losing Pitcher: J.A. Happ.

Astros force Paxton out early after taking early lead


Houston's offense started on the right foot on Sunday in ALCS Game 2. After stranding a runner in the bottom of the first, the Astros scored first in the bottom of the second after Alex Bregman lasered a leadoff single, moved to second on a walk to Yordan Alvarez, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly by Yuli Gurriel, then scored on an RBI-double by Carlos Correa.

The run was a significant momentum boost for Houston, who had been shutout in the Game 1 loss. Although James Paxton would get through that inning with only one run allowed, he would allow back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the third, which prompted the Yankees to go to their bullpen early. The moved worked, as Houston would strand both runners to send the game to the fourth.

Verlander does his part


After three perfect innings for Justin Verlander, he would watch his 1-0 lead go away in the top of the fourth. New York's first baserunner of the night came on a leadoff walk allowed by Verlander to start the inning, which turned into a two-run home run blasted by Aaron Judge to center field to put the Yankees up 2-1 to erase Houston's lead.

Those would be the only runs allowed by Verlander, who would do an impressive job of holding the Yankees down over his start. The home run would be one of the few blemishes on a night he was able to induce outs and strikeouts to keep his team in it. He would continue into the seventh inning with a pitch count over 100, but after a two-out walk would be removed to end his night. His final line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.

Correa wins it in extras

After going down 2-1 earlier in the game, Verlander would leave in a 2-2 tie thanks to a solo home run by George Springer in the bottom of the fifth. Will Harris was first out of Houston's bullpen to finish off the seventh, getting a strikeout for the third out. Harris stayed on the mound to start the eighth, getting an out before issuing a walk to prompt AJ Hinch to bring in his closer, Roberto Osuna.

He would get two quick outs to finish the top of the eighth, but New York's bullpen would also hold in the bottom of the inning to send the gridlocked game to the ninth. In the top of the ninth, Osuna would remain in the game and record a quick 1-2-3 frame to give Houston a chance to walk it off in the bottom half. In the bottom of the ninth, a pinch-hitting Aledmys Diaz would work a two-out walk against Aroldis Chapman, giving the Astros a baserunner, but he would be left on base after a strikeout of Springer to end the inning and force extras. Joe Smith was next out of Houston's bullpen to start the top of the tenth and was able to retire the Yankees in order on seven pitches.

In the bottom of the tenth, New York turned to CC Sabathia for a rare relief appearance to face left-handed Michael Brantley, who would ground out for the first out. Jonathan Loaisiga was next out for the Yankees to try and finish the tenth. Instead, he would issue back-to-back one-out walks, resulting in another move to bring in J.A. Happ. Happ would get out of the jam with a strikeout and flyout to move the game to the eleventh.

Smith would get two quick outs in the top of the eleventh before a walk would end his night in favor of Ryan Pressly, who would allow a single, resulting in another change to Josh James, who would get the third out after a lengthy at-bat. In the bottom of the inning, Carlos Correa evened the series with a solo home run to win the game.

Up Next: With the first two games in Houston accounted for, the ALCS will now shift to the Bronx. In Game 3 at 3:08 PM on Tuesday from New York, the pitching matchup will be the electric Gerrit Cole for Houston, who is 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA and 25 strikeouts after his two ALDS starts going up against Luis Severino who went four shutout innings in his ALDS start.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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