Both Cole and Houston's offense struggle in loss

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 9-4 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With Justin Verlander providing quite the show the night before, the Astros were back at it on Wednesday night with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Here is a quick recap of the third game of the four-game series with Chicago:

Final Score: White Sox 9, Astros 4

Record: 33-17, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Ivan Nova (3-4, 6.96 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Gerrit Cole (4-5, 4.11 ERA).

1) Cole hits 100 strikeouts in rough outing

Gerrit Cole was not nearly as dominant on Wednesday night as in recent starts, allowing solo home runs in the second and fourth innings to put Chicago up 2-0. He was able to strike out six over those four innings, then got number seven on the night in the fifth to get to triple digits on the season.

Despite the offense backing him up to give him a 3-2 lead, Cole would struggle in the sixth as the White Sox roared back, loading the bases while scoring two runs on four consecutive hits to lead off the inning. That would be the end of Cole's night, and Josh James, despite getting two big outs to keep Chicago from scoring to that point, would allow a grand slam to blow the game open at 8-3 and give Cole 6 earned runs on the night.

2) One strong inning not enough

Houston's bats were able to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth after Alex Bregman put them on the board with a one-out solo home run then going on to get their second and third runs on RBIs from Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz.

Houston would start a rally that would come up just short in the ninth, loading the bases and getting a sac fly to make it 9-4, but would get stopped there. They'd be unable to counter-act four double plays and even a triple play in the up-and-down offensive night.

3) Brady Rodgers returns 

After taking Collin McHugh's spot on the roster with McHugh going on the injured list, Rodgers made his first appearance for Houston since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. After getting a strikeout against his first batter, he was met with a monstrous solo home run which put Chicago up 9-3. He'd go on to retire the next two batters in order to complete the eighth. He'd then return to the mound for the ninth, getting a 1-2-3 inning to cap off his decent return.

Up Next: The Astros and White Sox will wrap up this series tomorrow night with the final game starting at 7:10 PM. Corbin Martin (1-0, 3.86 ERA) will make the third start of his career for Houston and go up against Lucas Giolito (5-1, 3.35 ERA) for Chicago.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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