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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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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