Both Cole and Houston's offense struggle in loss
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 9-4 loss
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.