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.

The regular season is in the books

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 8-5 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With the best record in the league already locked up with the win on Saturday, the Astros went into the 162nd and final game of the 2019 regular season with a chance to get one last tune-up and add to some individual numbers and records. Here is a rundown of the final game before the postseason:

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 5.

Record: 107-55, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Dillon Peters (4-4, 5.38 ERA).

1) Houston's main bats finish strong

In their last chance to add some hits and RBIs to their final regular-season stat lines, the Astros' bats took advantage. Right away in the top of the first, George Springer led off the game with a single, then scored on an RBI-double by Jose Altuve to put Houston ahead 1-0.

Springer would go on to go 4-for-4 on the day with two RBIs including a solo home run in the second. Aledmys Diaz also hit a solo home run that inning, then in the top of the third Yuli Gurriel launched a two-run blast to extend the lead to 5-0. In the fourth, they added three more including Springer's other RBI, a double, along with an RBI-double for Michael Brantley and RBI-single for Alex Bregman. Bregman would go 1-for-1 with that RBI and two walks.

2) Cole gets his 20th win and ninth-straight 10+ strikeout start

Gerrit Cole once again had to take the mound the day after Justin Verlander set some historical marks and reached incredible milestones. Cole didn't shy away from getting his own, though, tossing a great game himself.

He allowed one run, a solo home run in the bottom of the third which made it a 5-1 game at the time. He also faced trouble in the fourth, loading the bases with one out after a single, hit batter, and walk, but would fight back with two strikeouts to end the inning. He would come out for one more inning, seeking two more Ks to reach ten on the day.

He would do so, striking out the last batter he would face in the 2019 regular season to reach ten on the day, doing so for the ninth-straight start, a feat no other pitcher has ever done. The five innings of one-run baseball also lowered his ERA to 2.50, further making it a difficult decision to vote between him and Justin Verlander for the Cy Young. Cole's final line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston finishes with a win

That set up four innings for the bullpen to cover, starting with Brad Peacock in the bottom of the sixth. Peacock wouldn't have the cleanest inning, getting just two outs while allowing a two-run home run to cut the lead to 8-3. Bryan Abreu would get the final out of the sixth then return for the seventh, a 1-2-3 inning to hold the five-run lead.

Joe Smith took over for the bottom of the eighth but allowed two RBI-doubles to cut Houston's lead down to 8-5 before Chris Devenski would be brought in for the final out of the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Devenski remained in the game and recorded the first two outs before the final pitching change to bring in Will Harris who would get the final out of game 162.

Up Next: The regular season is now behind the Astros. In front of them, eleven wins needed to lift the Commissioner's Trophy for the second time in three years. Their first playoff game will be ALDS Game 1 on Friday, time TBD but likely in the afternoon, and opponent not yet determined as the winner of the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A's in Wednesday's Wild Card game will travel to Houston to face the Astros in Game 1.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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