Astros drop series finale to the Cubs

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 2-1 loss

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 2-1 loss
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Despite injuries starting to pile up for the Astros, they still had the chance for a series sweep of the Cubs with a victory on Wednesday night. Here is a recap of the series finale:

Final Score: Cubs 2, Astros 1.

Record: 37-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.09 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Wade Miley (5-3, 3.25 ERA).

1) Miley allows two runs in another solid start 

Wade Miley looked to be in trouble early in the game after allowing a solo home run to Kyle Schwarber in the very first at-bat of the game then another to Kris Bryant in the top of the third to put the Cubs up 2-0 early. However, he'd rebound from those early runs and lock in over the rest of his start, completing seven strong innings, including a season-high in strikeouts and innings pitched — Miley's final line: 7 IP, 6H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.

Chris Devenksi took over in the eighth and despite loading the bases with a single and two walks was able to get a strikeout to leave them all stranded. Will Harris had the ninth and would give the offense a chance for a walk-off by keeping it a one-run game after a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. Unfortunately, a walk-off would not come to fruition.

2) One run not enough

The Astros were able to trim the lead to one run after putting runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff double by Alex Bregman and single by Michael Brantley. They'd score the run on a one-out sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick but would get stopped there as the Cubs maintained the lead at 2-1.

They'd go scoreless the rest of the way, dropping the series finale despite taking the series with the two wins on Monday and Tuesday.

Up Next: The Astros will get a day off tomorrow as they travel to Oakland for a three-game series over the weekend. The first game of the series will get started at 9:07 PM on Friday and will feature Brad Peacock (5-2, 3.19 ERA) on the mound for Houston going against former-Astro Mike Fiers (4-3, 5.05 ERA) for the A's.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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