Astros get a walk-off win against Boston

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

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a win in game one of the series the night before in the books, the Astros looked to lock up the series win with a victory Saturday evening. Here's how the game went:

Final Score: Astros 4, Red Sox 3.

Record: 35-18, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Roberto Osuna (3-0, 1.54 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Matt Barnes (2-1, 2.25 ERA).

1) Peacock does it again

Brad Peacock took the mound on Saturday riding a three-game winning streak over his last three starts. He looked just as good in this as those, keeping Boston out of the scoring column. He had to work out of a couple of jams along the way, but in the end, it was a great start: six innings, five hits, zero runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts. That should have been enough for a win, but unfortunately would not factor in the decision.

2) Bats break through in the sixth, add on in the seventh, walk it off in the ninth

Houston's offense had a weird start to their night with starter David Price leaving the game with flu-like symptoms just two outs into the first inning. That would make it a bullpen day for the Red Sox, and it would prove tough for the Astros as they would be held scoreless through the first five innings.

Things changed in the sixth, though, after Carlos Correa worked a one-out walk then Yuli Gurriel moved him to second on a single. That would set up Josh Reddick for the biggest hit of the night so far, an RBI single to put the first run on the board for either team. Tyler White extended that lead to 2-0 in the next at-bat with an RBI single of his own. Houston's bats did more work against Boston's bullpen in the seventh, getting a leadoff double from Aledmys Diaz who would eventually come around to score on an RBI from Gurriel to make it a 3-1 game.

After the Red Sox tied the game 3-3 in the top of the ninth, it was up to Houston's offense again to come up with a run to win the game. Once again, Diaz sparked things by leading off the bottom of the ninth with a double. He'd move to third after Houston worked back-to-back walks to load the bases with no outs, then come around to score the winning run on an RBI by Carlos Correa.

3) Rough appearance for Osuna 

Hector Rondon took over for Peacock to start the seventh, but would only be able to notch two outs while putting two on base, resulting in a call for Ryan Pressly to take over. Pressly would give up an RBI-single to cut the lead in half at 2-1 before Houston would catch a runner advancing to end the inning.

Pressly remained in the game for the eighth and retired the Red Sox in order, setting up Roberto Osuna to take over in the ninth. Osuna would crumble, giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning, then hitting the next batter to load the bases with no outs. That was followed with a two-run single to tie the game before Osuna would finally get out of the inning, leaving the game tied.

Up Next: Houston will wrap up this series, which is also the last game of the season series, with Boston tomorrow afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM. The pitching matchup will be Justin Verlander (8-1, 2.24 ERA) for the Astros going against Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 5.43 ERA) for the Red Sox. With a win, Houston will sweep this series and take five out of six in the regular-season series.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

There are plenty of reasons to watch

An exciting week ahead for the Astros

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After the disappointing 12-0 blowout loss to the Blue Jays on Father's Day to end last week, Houston will turn the page to a new one with some compelling components to look forward to in the next seven days. With a full seven-game week ahead, here are some of the things to be watching for:

The Alvarez roadshow

We are six games into the Yordan Alvarez experience, and over those six games, he has homered in four. Some of those would have been home runs nearly anywhere, but this week we will get to see how he handles leaving the confines of Minute Maid Park.

Luckily for Alvarez, both Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati and Yankee Stadium in New York provide a boost for left-handed hitters, especially Yankee Stadium with its short porch in right field. He'll also potentially get to face some pitchers who have been struggling with the long ball in Tyler Mahle for the Reds and J.A. Happ for the Yankees. It should shape up to be another big week at the plate for Alvarez, maintaining his at-bats as being much-watch TV.

Pitchers hitting in Cincinnati 

Houston will make their first trip to a National League park in 2019 to start the week with a three-game series with the Reds. The inter-league matchup presents the rare opportunity to see the DH-less Astros send their pitcher to the plate to try and contribute on offense.

The three pitchers we will get to see: Wade Miley, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole. Miley has a career batting average of .155 including one home run from back in 2013 with the Diamondbacks. Last year with the Brewers he hit .185 with five hits and a walk over 27 at-bats.

Cole is no stranger to the batter's box, playing the first five years of his career in the National League for Pittsburgh. He's a career .168 hitter and hit a home run in three out of his five seasons with the Pirates. However, he lost a little bit of his swing last season, going 0-for-9 with eight strikeouts for the Astros in his first season as part of his new American League team.

Then there's Justin Verlander. He has played in the AL his entire career, making him mostly a stranger at the plate. That makes it no surprise that his batting numbers aren't quite at the level of his dominant pitching numbers, hitting just .104 in his career. He has notched an RBI, though, getting the first of his career in 2017 for the Tigers before coming over to Houston.

So with that, it should be an entertaining series to start the week, and will likely make fans of the American League relish the fact that they get to have a Designated Hitter in the lineup every day.

Two starts for Verlander

While he may not be an All-Star with a bat, he's definitely on track to a lot of awards this year on the mound. Verlander is scheduled to make two starts this week, one on Tuesday night against the Reds, then another on Sunday in New York against the Yankees.

Not only does that mean two chances to see if Verlander can keep up the breakneck pace he's on in 2019, but it will also mean moving up another spot on the all-time strikeout list. At 2,831 in his career, he's just one away from tying, and two from passing, Mickey Lolich for the 19th spot on the famed list. Lolich has a connection with Justin, as he pitched thirteen seasons with the Tigers between 1963 and 1975.

Once Verlander takes over that spot, next up will be Jim Bunning who sits in 18th with 2,855 strikeouts, 24 ahead of the Astros' ace. Considering he threw 15 Ks in his last start, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could be tied or in sole possession of that 18th spot before the week is over, though to do so he'll have to have a fantastic game against a very potent Yankees lineup.

Potential pieces coming back into place

We should know more after tomorrow's game which will be a back-to-back start for the former-MVP, but the Astros are expected to have Jose Altuve rejoin the team while on this road trip. Not that the Astros have been horrid on offense without him, but having him back on the field will provide an uptick in performance, and moral.

Two other players in similar situations as Altuve and expected to come back up are Max Stassi and Collin McHugh. Stassi will likely retake his roster spot as the backup catcher, meaning Garret Stubbs will make the trip back to Round Rock. As far as McHugh, we will have to wait and see if he makes some appearances out of the bullpen to ramp things back up before going back into the rotation, or if AJ Hinch has other plans going forward.

In any case, getting some of these players back means the team is getting healthy again. George Springer has been ramping up activities, and we should hear about a rehab assignment for him soon. Carlos Correa, however, remains sidelined and the Astros should remain conservative with his recovery.

Huge weekend series in the Bronx 

After the three-game set in Cincinnati against the Reds, the Astros will travel to New York for a big four-game weekend series with the Yankees. The Yankees made a big splash in the trade market this past week, taking advantage of a liquidating Mariners team who was willing to deal Edwin Encarnacion to New York for a lone prospect player along with some cash trading. Encarnacion currently leads the American League in home runs, giving the Yankees yet another mighty bat in their lineup.

Two of the other powerful batters that are scheduled to make returns to the lineup this week: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Both are currently on rehab stints and expected to rejoin the major-league team before this week is over. The Yankees will catch the 3-4-5-1 spots in Houston's rotation, which will be an intriguing matchup on both sides.

In any case, no matter who we see back in the lineups this weekend, it's going to be a fun and high-intensity matchup with these two teams currently both in the top four in win-loss records in the league. Also, the Yankees will likely be out to even the score after the Astros swept them in Houston in a three-game series in early April.

It sets up to be what many consider a preview of an ALDS or ALCS matchup between two of the best teams not only in the American League but the entire league.

Where will the Astros stand, both in their record and in roster spots, when this week concludes? It's hard to predict, but regardless, it should be a fun week to catch some Astros games on TV.

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