Astros cruise past the Royals for series sweep

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 12-3 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With the series victory already in hand, Houston looked for a sweep to continue decreasing their magic number as well as keep pace with the Yankees in the fight for postseason home-field advantage. Here is a quick rundown of the series finale with the Royals from Kansas City:

Final Score: Astros 12, Royals 3.

Record: 98-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jakob Junis (9-14, 5.24 ERA).

1) Miley gets back on track

Considering his last two starts which ended in disaster, the Astros needed a confidence boost in Wade Miley on Sunday, as he probably needed himself to get back on track. Although he allowed a run in the top of the first to put the Royals up 1-0, sparking memories of his inability to get through the first inning in recent starts, he would get through the inning.

While his offense built up a big lead behind him, Miley looked much more like his usual self in the rest of the start, getting through the next three innings scoreless. The Royals would get a few hits and another run off of Miley in the bottom of the fifth, but Miley would still finish six strong innings. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR.

2) Houston's offense gives him plenty of room to work with


One reason that Miley may have been able to relax and manage his game better: lots of runs behind him. Houston immediately erased the 1-0 deficit in the top of the second, getting a three-run inning on a solo home run by Yuli Gurriel and RBIs from Abraham Toro and Michael Brantley, going up 3-1.

Toro would account for two more runs in the next inning, getting a two-RBI double to extend the lead to 5-1. Josh Reddick added two more runs with a two-run homer in the top of the fifth, pushing the advantage to six runs at 7-1.

3) Houston's bullpen finishes off the sweep

Kansas City cut the lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth off of Wade Miley, but Houston would get some traffic on the bases in the top of the seventh to set up an RBI-groundout by Aledmys Diaz to make it 8-2. Josh James was first out of Houston's bullpen to take over for Wade Miley in the bottom of the seventh, and he worked around a leadoff single to maintain the six-run lead.

Kyle Tucker took advantage of a leadoff walk in front of him in the top of the eighth, blasting his second career home run to give Houston double-digits at 10-2, then later in the inning Myles Straw hit a pinch-hit RBI-triple then Josh Reddick recorded his fifth hit of the day on another RBI to make it 12-1.

Chris Devenski came in for the bottom of the eighth and was able to erase a two-out single to move the game to the ninth. Framber Valdez was brought in for the ninth to finish things off and despite allowing a run would complete the series sweep.

Up Next: Houston will travel back home and receive a day off on Monday. They'll resume play on Tuesday as the Rangers come to town for the final two games of the season series. In the first of the two games, the expected pitching matchup is Justin Verlander (18-6, 2.58 ERA) for the Astros and Lance Lynn (14-10, 3.72 ERA) for the Rangers.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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