White Sox shutout Astros to split the series

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 4-0 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After a disappointing loss the night before, the Astros were back in action for game four of this series with the White Sox on Thursday night looking to take the series 3-1 with a win. Here's how the game panned out:

Final Score: White Sox 4, Astros 0

Record: 33-18, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Lucas Giolito (6-1, 2.77 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Corbin Martin (1-1, 4.97 ERA).

1) Martin with another rough start

Since his great debut on Mother's Day, Corbin Martin has not been able to repeat that success against the two teams he has faced since. After going four innings against the Red Sox last week where he allowed three runs and four walks, he struggled again on Thursday night in his start against the White Sox.

It centered around the third inning, where he allowed three runs on a couple of hits and a self-inflicted error which gave Chicago a 3-0 lead. Then, in the fourth he allowed a solo home run to make it 4-0. A.J. Hinch would go ahead and make the call to the bullpen after Martin allowed a one-out single, ending his night early in a disappointing outing.

The bullpen, however, would have a strong outing with Framber Valdez taking over for Martin in the fourth and finishing that and two other scoreless innings. Josh James rebounded from his rough outing the night before with two scoreless innings including five strikeouts, then Chris Devenski came in for a scoreless ninth.

2) Giolito dominates

Houston's offense could not crack Lucas Giolito, getting just four hits and one walk against him as Giolito would go on to throw a complete game shutout, the best start of his season. The win for Chicago made it a 2-2 series split, and the shutout also ended Houston's streak of consecutive games with a home run.

Up Next: The Astros will move on to the next series in this ten-game homestand with the first of a three-game series with the Red Sox on Friday night at 7:10 PM. It will be a rematch of Sunday afternoon's game with Wade Miley (4-2, 3.51 ERA) looking to help Houston reverse the outcome against Chris Sale (1-5, 4.31 ERA) as Boston took that game 4-3.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston scored in droves

Astros drub Twins in finale to take series win

Houston's offense showered Minnesota with hits in Sunday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games, with Houston's offense uncharacteristically ineffective in the loss on Saturday, they tried to turn things around with a win to take the series on Sunday. The Astros would bounce right back at the plate, getting hits and runs all through the afternoon to rout the Twins.

Final Score: Astros 14, Twins 3

Astros' Record: 37-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-4)

Valdez keeps rolling

Framber Valdez continued to impress in 2021 after starting his season on the IL, posting another quality start with a win against the Twins. After four scoreless frames, he allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fifth, just the third hit of the game for Minnesota to that point. He went on to retire the next three batters to get through the inning.

He faltered a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double followed by a single, with a run coming across on an error on that play. He once again rebounded to finish that frame, then put up a 1-2-3 seventh to finish his day off, notching another quality start and a win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 97 P.

Houston keeps their foot on the gas

While Valdez's outing was a highlight of its own, Houston's offense was the story of the day. They put their foot down on the pedal all day and did not let up, starting in the top of the first when Jose Altuve turned the first pitch of the game around for a single, later scoring on a sac fly by Alex Bregman to put the Astros in front 1-0.

After two scoreless innings, they got right back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker, then kept pouring it on with two runs in the fifth on a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel and an error, making it 5-0 at the time. The runs kept coming in the top of the sixth, with a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, who would score later on a two-run bomb by Yordan Alvarez. Then, in the top of the seventh, Brantley struck again to push it to double-digits with a two-RBI single to make it 11-2 and give Brantley 4 RBI on the afternoon.

With Houston swapping out starters with the hefty lead, even their pinch-hitters were getting involved, with Chas McCormick leading the top of the eighth off with a solo shot to make it a ten-run game. They then loaded the bases with no outs, setting up a sac fly for Myles Straw to make it 13-2.

Astros take the series

In the bottom of the eighth, Ralph Garza Jr. came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Houston. He recorded two quick outs but then met Nelson Cruz, who lasered a solo homer to put it back at a ten-run game before finishing the frame. Houston put their twentieth hit on the board in the top of the ninth, their highest total this season, en route to another scoring inning with a sac fly by Robel Garcia to make it 14-3. Garza came in for his second inning of work to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Astros a successful end to this series and road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel home before an off day on Monday to rest before 20 days of consecutive games. They'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, welcoming in the Rangers for two starting at 7:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the IL for the Astros, though Jake Odorizzi will "piggy-back" him, and Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.13 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.

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