Astros secure series win against Cubs

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 4 hits from the 9-6 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston had the chance to secure the series win against Chicago on Tuesday night after the win on Memorial Day. With injuries piling up, the game marked another debut, this time for catcher Garret Stubbs. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: Astros 9, Cubs 6.

Record: 37-19, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Josh James (2-0, 5.10 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jon Lester (3-4, 3.59 ERA).

1) Memorable debut for Stubbs 

Garret Stubbs, just like Jack Mayfield the day before, squared up a ball in his first major league at-bat to record a double as his first hit. In his next appearance, he tied the game 3-3 on a blooper RBI-single. He'd finish 2-for-4 with an RBI at the plate while catching five different pitchers behind it in the win.

2) Forgettable night for Martin

While Stubbs had a great debut, Corbin Martin had his third straight rough appearance. Martin worked around a couple of singles in the first for a scoreless inning but got hammered in the top of the second as the Cubs would hit three solo home runs in the span of four batters.

He'd come back and work around a leadoff walk for a scoreless third, but with his pitch count rising and after allowing a two-out walk, would see his night come to an end. His final line: 3.2 IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K.

3) Strong offensive showing

Yuli Gurriel started the scoring on Tuesday night with an RBI-double to put the Astros up 1-0 in the bottom of the first. After going down 3-1, Alex Bregman answered with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the third, trimming the lead to 3-2.

Stubbs notched his first RBI in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game, then Houston went on to double up the Cubs with an RBI-single from Derek Fisher then a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, making it a 6-3 Houston lead. In the bottom of the sixth, after Chicago had just tied the game in the top half, Bregman delivered his second home run of the night, a two-run bomb to put the Astros back in front, 8-6.

They didn't stop there; Tony Kemp hit a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh, stole second, moved to third on an error, then scored on an RBI-double from Jake Marisnick to give Houston an insurance run at 9-6.

4) Bullpen tasked with providing long relief

With Martin's night done after just three and two-thirds innings, the Astros went to Josh James to eat up a few innings. James finished off the fourth with a strikeout, then racked up two more in a scoreless fifth. In the sixth, though, he'd let the Cubs come right back with a two-run home run followed immediately by a solo shot to make it a 6-6 game.

With a new 8-6 lead, Hector Rondon took over for the seventh and with a little assistance from a great catch in foul territory by Tony Kemp, got through a scoreless inning. Ryan Pressly came in, as usual, for the eighth, and was able to work around a leadoff double to maintain the three-run lead.

Roberto Osuna was brought in for another save opportunity in the top of the ninth. He saved fans the theatrics of the day before, getting through the inning with no runs scored to complete the 9-6 win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros and Cubs will wrap up this inter-league series tomorrow night with a 7:10 PM start time for the final game. The pitching matchup will be Wade Miley (5-2, 3.32 ERA) who will try to complete the sweep for Houston facing off with Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.34 ERA) for Chicago.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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The Houston Rockets recorded their first win without the star power of James Harden versus the San Antonio Spurs. After a chaotic Harden press conference, the Rockets held various team meetings, so the focus was not forgotten. Thursday night, Christian Wood led the way with 27 points and 15 rebounds, and got some help along the way from Sterling Brown and Jae' Sean Tate. It was a back-and-forth effort, but the Rockets prevailed with a 109-105 win over the Spurs.

With John Wall and Eric Gordon both out, Wood needed to carry the load but still needed help from his teammates. Tate brought a complete effort while being versatile, dynamic, and ran the point guard position with extreme efficiency. Brown had complete confidence by lighting the Spurs up for 23 points on 53 percent shooting from the field. It was incredible to watch undrafted Mason Jones and second-round draft pick Kenyon Martin take leaps in front of our eyes.

For those that don't know, the Rockets were shorthanded because they are still waiting on the arrival of Victor Oladipo.

Watching Wood become better at drop coverage was pivotal in the Rockets' success on defense. Wood also became a great help-side defender by covering ground for his teammates. His shot blocking was extremely lethal against the Spurs. Wood finished with three blocks on Thursday night. His offensive game frightened the Spurs defenders as Wood was able to attack from the perimeter and paint area. Wood shot 71 percent at the 3-point line and 55 percent from the field. Like Wood said during his press conference on Wednesday, he didn't come to Houston to lose.

Stephan Silas had to coach a shorthanded roster Thursday night, so Tate was used at the point guard position. Tate collected 10 points and 13 assists by being aggressive and smart. He operated the pick-n-roll with Wood precisely and found him continuously on lobs. Tate also finished nicely around the rim, including being strong over defenders. Hopefully, Tate's development gets better over time.

The signing of Sterling Brown was a head scratcher in the beginning of the season but has been successful so far. Right now, Brown is averaging a career high of 8.5 points per game with the Rockets. Brown was not scared to take the big shots versus the Spurs Thursday night. He even made acrobatic tough layups in crunch time. Brown also made an incredible shot toward the end of the 4th quarter for the Rockets. Hopefully, the play of Brown continues to get better throughout the season.

This was a great win for the shorthanded Rockets. Not bad for a team with no chemistry or talent.

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