Astros lose in extras to the Angels

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-3 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After finishing the season series with the Mariners with a two-game mini sweep to finish 18-1 against Seattle and get a franchise-best 104th win, the Astros traveled to Anaheim for the final series of the regular season. Here is a quick look at the first of four games this weekend against the Angels:

Final Score: Angels 4, Astros 3.

Record: 104-55, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Trevor Cahill (4-9, 6.04 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Joe Biagini (3-2, 4.59 ERA)

1) Less than impressive start for Miley

Wade Miley's security in the playoff rotation was certainly in question going into Thursday night. He did not help his case in the first inning, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk to give the Angels an early 2-0 lead. He followed that up with a one-run second after giving up a leadoff double that would later score on a sacrifice fly to extend Houston's deficit to 3-0.

To his credit, he would settle in and throw two scoreless innings after that, but four innings while allowing three runs did not instill the kind of confidence needed to secure his place alongside Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Grienke in Houston's rotation for the 2019 postseason. His final line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR.

2) Houston ties it up

The three runs allowed by Miley would luckily not net him a loss; thanks to some big hits from his young teammates. First, Kyle Tucker hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the fourth, his second in as many nights, to cut the lead to two at 3-1. In the next inning, a leadoff walk set up Jack Mayfield for a game-tying two-run home run to put the teams at three apiece.

The game remained knotted up at 3-3 for a while, with Brad Peacock taking over for Miley in the fifth inning and starting the sixth before being lifted for Bryan Abreu who finished that inning. Joe Smith was next out of Houston's bullpen and threw a 1-2-3 scoreless bottom of the seventh.

3) Angels win in extras

Houston had a chance in the top of the eighth, getting runners on first and third with one out. They brought in Yordan Alvarez as a pinch-hitter who took a four-pitch walk to load the bases. George Springer pinch-hit next but would ground into an inning-ending double play to keep the game tied. Josh James was on the mound in the bottom of the eighth and worked around a two-out single for a scoreless inning. With the Astros coming up empty in the top of the ninth, Hector Rondon tried to send the game to extra innings with a scoreless bottom of the inning and did so.

In extras, Houston had chances in the first two innings, including loading the bases with one out in the eleventh but coming up empty. Chris Devenski, meanwhile, was able to provide two scoreless innings on the mound to keep the game locked at 3-3. Josh Reddick led off the top of the twelfth with his fifth hit of the game, a double to get a runner in scoring position at a pivotal part of the game. The Astros would go on to load the bases with two outs, but once again strand all three runners. Joe Biagini pitched the bottom of the inning, allowing a leadoff walk that would ultimately come around to score in a walk-off win for the Angels.

Up Next: Game two of this series will be Friday at 9:07 PM. Jose Urquidy (1-1, 4.63 ERA) will get another chance to try and impress as he is given a start on the mound for the Astros going opposite of Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 5.25 ERA) for the Angels.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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