Astros extend winning streak to six games

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 8-1 win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 8-1 win
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After sweeping the Rangers in Houston to finish last week and put them on a five-game winning streak, the Astros started a week on the road in Detroit on Monday night. Here's a recap of the first of three games against the Tigers:

Final Score: Astros 8, Tigers 1

Record: 27-15, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brad Peacock (4-2, 4.01 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Matthew Boyd (4-3, 3.15 ERA)

1) Living by the long ball 

Aledmys Diaz got the scoring started for Houston in the top of the second, hitting a solo home run to grab a 1-0 lead. After a walk from Tyler White in the next at-bat, Robinson Chirinos took advantage with a home run of his own to extend the lead to 3-0. Jake Marisnick kept the home run train going by hitting a two-run blast of his own in the top of the seventh to make the game 5-1. George Springer scored the first run that wasn't a homer in the top of the ninth, hitting an RBI single to extend the lead to 6-1 before Alex Bregman immediately followed with a home run to make it 8-1.

2) Peacock throws five innings

Brad Peacock did not have as great of a start on Monday as he did last week in Houston, only getting through five innings of work compared to the seven shutout innings in his last start. Over those five innings, he allowed one run on just three hits, four walks, and struck out three. The four walks increased his pitch count early, resulting in his short outing.

3) Bullpen pitches the final four innings

Hector Rondon took over on the mound in the sixth and was able to work around a hit to complete a scoreless inning. Will Harris had the seventh and was able to erase a couple of walks to send the game to the final two innings. Ryan Pressly was on the mound for the eighth and continued his streak of scoreless innings, then Josh James came in with the seven-run lead in the ninth and closed out the win on an incredible catch by George Springer.

Up Next: The Astros and Tigers will continue this series with another 6:10 PM start time tomorrow night. Wade Miley (3-2, 3.18 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston opposite of Ryan Carpenter (0-1, 10.80 ERA) for Detroit.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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The Astros are back in action Friday night against Seattle. Composite Getty Image.

The Astros were a season low 12 games under .500 (12-24) on May 8th but were able to turn things around and entered the All-Star break with a respectable 50-46 record.

The turnaround can be attributed to better performances on the field by a multitude of players, but there are still things that could be improved to ensure a successful second half of the season.

As it currently stands, Houston is only one game behind the Seattle Mariners in the American League West division race, and the Astros should have key players returning from injury to further bolster their playoff ambitions.

The return of the King

Kyle Tucker has been on the injured list with a shin contusion for six weeks now, and looks to return in the near future.

The Astros have done surprisingly well without their three-time All-Star outfielder thanks to contributions from guys like Joey Loperfido, Jake Meyers and Marcio Dubon in the outfield. Plus, Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Yanier Diaz and Jeremy Pena carrying the offense while King Tuck is away.

Before getting hurt, the 27-year-old was hitting .266/.395/.584 through 60 games. Houston already has one of the best offenses in baseball, and adding Tucker back would give the Astros another high-quality bat to further bolster their lineup.

The latest update is Tucker has been playing catch and could start a rehab assignment soon if all goes well.

Fix the rotation

Starting pitching has been a major issue this season due to a multitude of injuries.

Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy and J.P. France have all been lost for the year with various surgeries and guys like Justin Verlander and Luis Garcia are trying to work their way back from their injured list stints.

Garcia was recently pulled from his rehab assignment and won’t pitch again until he is ready. Meanwhile, Verlander could be closer to his return and is throwing bullpen sessions as of July 14. Getting both of these pitchers back at some point this season will be a huge boost to this roster.

The current Astros’ rotation consists of Framber Valdez, Ronel Blanco, Hunter Brown, Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss. Although not a bad rotation by any means, the starting pitching depth is getting pretty thin and Houston can ill afford another injury to their staff.

Astros general manager Dana Brown has been vocal about his desire to add starting pitching, and could have some options heading into the trade deadline. Players like Jack Flaherty, Garrett Crochet or Yusei Kikuchi, just to name a few, could be low risk high reward pitchers the Astros could acquire to add depth to their rotation.

Another option would be to call up A.J. Blubaugh from Sugar Land. The 24-year-old has a 6-2 record with a 3.46 ERA in 71.1 innings pitched this season for the Space Cowboys and could be a necessary depth piece to add to the rotation.

Play Astros baseball

The Astros have been playing better baseball as of late and have won 18 of their last 23 games. With players like Kyle Tucker and Justin Verlander potentially returning soon, there is reason to believe Houston can make the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season.

The 'Stros will try to take sole possession of first place in their division from the Mariners when the two teams meet for three games at T-Mobile Park starting on Friday night.

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