Justin Verlander throws a no-hitter

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

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With Toronto taking the middle game on Saturday, Houston looked to get back in the win column and take the series win with a victory on Sunday. Here is a recap of the series finale against the Blue Jays which started the final month of the regular season:

Final Score: Astros 2, Blue Jays 0.

Record: 89-49, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.56 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Ken Giles (2-3, 2.05 ERA).

1) Verlander throws third career no-hitter

While the Blue Jays pieced together a quality bullpen day which kept the Astros' offense in check, it was Justin Verlander shutting down Toronto on the other side. Verlander was effective and efficient, working his way to another double-digit strikeout start after seven innings while throwing 93 pitches.

He added three more in the bottom of the eighth, striking out the side in order, keeping the Blue Jays without a hit and sending the scoreless game to the ninth. After his offense scored two runs in the top of the ninth, Verlander returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth to finish things off.

He would do so, recording another 1-2-3 inning and completing his third career no-hitter. Verlander's final line: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K, 0 HR.

2) Toro comes through in the ninth

Meanwhile, Houston's offense was not able to string together enough offense to score any runs through the first eight innings. With their pitcher at thirteen strikeouts and no hits through eight, Houston was desperate to back Verlander up with a run to try and complete a historic day.

Alex Bregman led the top of the ninth off with a double and would move to second on a one-out fly out, then scored on a two-run home run by Abraham Toro off of former-Astros Ken Giles to score the first two runs of the game and finally give Verlander some run support. Those two runs were the difference, lifting Houston over Toronto to take the series win.

Up Next: The Astros will take a short trip to Milwaukee for a quick two-game series starting Monday with a Labor Day matchup with the Brewers at 3:00 PM. The Astros will have Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.85 ERA) on the mound going against Adrian Houser (6-5, 3.52 ERA) for the Brewers.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Springer had two homers Sunday

Springer helps lift Astros to series win over D-backs

Photo by Bob Levey / Getty Images

With a win on Saturday to tie the series 1-1, the Astros took the field at Minute Maid Park for the last time of 2020 on Sunday. A victory would give them the series against Arizona and move them one step closer to securing one of the two playoff spots for the AL West's highest-record finishing duo. Here are the quick highlights from Sunday's rubber game:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 27-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-1, 2.41 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Junior Guerra (1-2, 3.04 ERA).

Urquidy goes six while allowing two runs

After three scoreless innings on both sides, Arizona would start the scoring in the top of the fourth. They would load the bases with no outs against Jose Urquidy, getting back-to-back singles to start the frame before Urquidy issued a walk. He would get out of the jam with just one run allowed, though, thanks to a timely double play and a flyout to end the inning.

The D-backs ambushed Urquidy in the top of the fifth, getting a leadoff solo homer to double their lead to 2-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings while allowing just the two runs. His final line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 90 P.

Springer takes it into his own hands

After tagging him with eight runs on August 4th in Arizona, the Astros were unable to figure out Madison Bumgarner on Sunday, going scoreless over his five innings on the mound. They went to work against Arizona's bullpen in the bottom of the sixth, starting with a near-conventional homerun turned inside-the-park homer for George Springer to start the inning, cutting the lead in half 2-1.

They went on to load the bases with two outs but would strand all three runners to keep it a one-run game heading to the seventh. Andre Scrubb was first out of Houston's bullpen and had a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. In the bottom of the seventh, Springer tied the game with his second homer in as many innings, this time over the right-field fence, making it 2-2.

Astros grab the late lead, take the series

Scrubb would retire one more batter, getting a groundout to start the top of the eighth before Houston moved on to Blake Taylor to face the top of Arizona's order. He would keep it a tie game, working around a two-out infield single to end the inning.

Houston would get the go-ahead run in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth, with Alex Bregman getting hit by a pitch then moving to second on a walk to Michael Brantley. They'd go on to load the bases with another walk and one out, setting up a go-ahead sac fly by Carlos Correa to take a 3-2 lead.

That presented another chance for a save for Ryan Pressly, which he would notch as the Astros would take the final two games of the three-game set to win the series. The win moved them up to 27-26 on the year, keeping them a leg up on the Mariners for second place in the AL West.

Up Next: Seven games remain in Houston's regular season, all on the road, with a three-game series in Seattle against the Mariners and then a four-game set in Arlington against the Rangers. The opener in Seattle will get underway at 8:10 PM Central on Monday and features the pitching matchup of Marco Gonzalez (6-2, 3.49 ERA) for the Mariners and Lance McCullers Jr. (3-2, 4.87 ERA) for the Astros.

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