Houston clinches a playoff berth with win number 100

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 3-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a win on Tuesday night against Texas, Houston looked to wrap up the season series with the Rangers with a win on Wednesday night to get victory number 100 on the year and also secure a playoff berth. Here are some quick hits about the game:

Final Score: Astros 3, Rangers 2.

Record: 100-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (18-5, 2.61 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Kolby Allard (4-1, 4.25 ERA).

1) After stranding runners early, Gurriel starts the scoring

Houston had several chances to jump in front of Texas early and build up a substantial lead. They loaded the bases with two outs in both the second and third innings, but both times would strand all three runners, finishing the first three innings with a total of seven left on base.

Yordan Alvarez became another two-out baserunner in the bottom of the fifth after a single, bringing up Yuli Gurriel. Gurriel continued his hot streak this summer, finally giving the Astros runs on the board with a two-run home run to go up 2-0.

2) Cole reaches strikeout 300 in his 19th start of 2019 with ten or more Ks

Gerrit Cole benefited from those two runs, as he was working on the mound in the top half of each inning to hold the Rangers down. He allowed just two hits through the first six innings, putting an exclamation point to that part of the game by finishing the sixth inning with his 300th strikeout of the season, becoming just the third in franchise history to do so.

With a low pitch count, he was able to return for the seventh inning but would allow his first run of the night after back-to-back one-out singles put a runner on third who scored on a bad throw by Martin Maldonado trying to catch a runner stealing second. Not only did Cole finish that inning with a one-run lead still intact, but he would also go back to the mound in the eighth to extend his streak of double-digit strikeouts.

After Jose Altuve added a run with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, Cole, despite allowing a solo home run himself, would get his tenth strikeout of the night. That made it 19 of his 31 starts this season to record at least ten strikeouts as he would go on to finish the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead. His final line in a night full of records and milestones: 8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 HR.

3) Osuna gets the save as Houston is first to 100 wins and clinches a playoff spot

Roberto Osuna took over for Gerrit Cole in the top of the ninth with the one-run lead. He was able to get another save with a scoreless inning, wrapping up the 3-2 win. The win was number 100 on the season, the first team in the MLB to do so this year, and it also clinched the Astros a spot in the postseason.

Up Next: The Astros will get another welcome day off at home tomorrow before hosting their final regular-season series at home this weekend against the Angels. The opener of the three-game set will be Friday at 7:10 PM and the expected pitching matchup is Jaime Barria (4-9, 5.95 ERA) for Los Angeles and Zack Greinke (16-5, 2.95 ERA) for Houston.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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The Astros will look to bounce back after a tough week. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After a 6-3 record to start the season, the Houston Astros had a tumultuous week to say the least. They were swept by the Tigers, lost 2 of 3 games to the Seattle Mariners and placed five players on the COVID injured list.

The Tigers' new manager AJ Hinch returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros let him go after the cheating scandal in early 2020.

The Tigers swept the Astros and outscored them 20-8 over their three matchups.

Before the 3rd game of the series, the Astros found out they would be without five players on their active roster. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado and Robel Garcia were all placed on the COVID-19 injury reserved list.

"It's hard on the team but you have to carry on. The show must go on," manager Dusty Baker said. "And it went on today with some younger players we have here."

Garrett Stubbs, Taylor Jones and Abraham Toro were called up as well as Alex De Goti and Ronnie Dawson who made their major league debuts last week.

The Tigers were able to score runs early on Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers and Jake Odorizzi (who made his Astros debut) and none of these starters lasted more than five innings in the outings.

Yuli Gurriel was the one Astros bright spot against the Tigers as he had 7 hits and drove in 2 runs. He is still continuing to hit the ball consistently as he finished the series with a .429 batting average.

After a 1-5 home stand the Astros looked to bounce back on the road against the division leading Seattle Mariners (you read that correctly).

Friday night proved to be the Astros' best offensive performance since their home opener on April 8th against the A's.

They scored five runs on Yusei Kikuchi through 7 innings behind good hitting from Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and De Goti who drove in two runs on his first major league hit.

The Astros had a 5-2 lead at this point, but Seattle was able to score 4 unanswered to win the game.

Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylor and Ryne Stanek were credited with those four runs.

Ryan Pressly tried to clean up the bottom of the 9th inning after Stanek put the first two batters on base. His effort was unsuccessfully as Ty France hit a game-ending single that scored J.P. Crawford from second to secure a Mariners victory.

Saturday was the best game of the week for the Astros as they finally broke their six-game losing streak.

After failing to pitch more than five innings on Monday against the Tigers, Zack Greinke threw eight shutout innings with 91 pitches.

He struck out six batters and gave up only 4 hits.

"That's what aces do," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "Guys like (Greinke) ... they stop the bleeding and we're about bled out."

Greinke finished the game with 2,705 career strikeouts. He is now third amongst active players in strikeouts behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

Ryan Pressly got some redemption too as he threw a perfect 9th inning giving him his first save of the year.

The Astros won this game 1-0 as Taylor Jones drove in the game's only run with an RBI single.

Sunday's game ended the Astros week with a whimper, as the Mariners bested Houston 7-2.

Jake Odorizzi got off to a good start, but he gave up three hits and was pulled after Mitch Haniger's fifth-inning triple made it a 3-2 lead over the Astros.

Odorizzi is now (0-2) with a 10.57 ERA after two starts with the Astros.

Houston's offensive woes continued Sunday, as Aledmys Díaz had their only hit, an RBI double in the second inning that fell in when outfielder José Marmolejos lost the ball in the sun.

"It's tough to take when you only got one hit and the one hit we got was lost in the sun," Baker said.

UP NEXT: The Astros (7-8) will finish their road trip with a two game series against the Rockies who have the worst record in the league (4-12) before starting an eight-game homestead.

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