Astros cruise past the Royals for series sweep
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 12-3 win
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.