Houston's offense struggles in loss

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-1 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Astros were able to take game one of this series against the Orioles on Friday night, though it took eleven innings to pull off. Houston and Baltimore were right back at it on Saturday afternoon, and here's how the middle game of the series went:

Final Score: Orioles 4, Astros 1.

Record: 44-22, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Paul Fry (1-3, 3.29 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Will Harris (1-1, 1.54 ERA).

1) Reddick gets hit 1,000 in an mostly quiet offensive day

After being blanked through the first five innings, Houston finally threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning. Back-to-back singles put runners on the corners with no outs and a chance to erase a 1-0 deficit. They'd come away with just one run, getting an RBI from Yuli Gurriel on a sac fly to tie the game 1-1.

That would be the lone run the Astros would manage during the game, though Josh Reddick was able to notch a milestone with the 1,000th hit of his career with a single in the bottom of the second.

2) Valdez fills starter spot well 

Framber Valdez was terrific in his first start of 2019, filling the vacant spot in the rotation after Corbin Martin was optioned back to AAA after some rough starts. Valdez didn't allow a run until the sixth inning, a solo home run which broke the scoreless tie.

Besides that one hiccup, Valdez was electric and had a great day, recording efficient innings on his way to a seven-inning afternoon. His final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.

3) Orioles go-ahead in the eighth, add insurance in the ninth

Will Harris took over for Valdez in the top of the eighth but would deal with a lot of traffic. Baltimore started the inning with a single followed by a double to get runners on the corners with no outs. Bregman made a great heads-up play on a ground ball to catch the runner between third and home to save a run and keep it a tie game.

Harris was able to get another ground ball in the next at-bat which had double-play potential but instead an errant throw by Jack Mayfield after getting the out at second allowed the go-ahead run to score. Reymin Guduan pitched the top of the ninth, but after getting two strikeouts to start the inning allowed a walk then two-run home run to put the game out of reach.

Up Next: The Astros will wrap up this series with the Orioles with the rubber game tomorrow at 1:10 PM. Wade Miley (5-3, 3.39 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston looking win the series, while Baltimore is expected to start Dylan Bundy (3-6, 4.64 ERA).

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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