Astros Wallop the Mariners for Series Sweep

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 21-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After taking the first three of this four-game series with the Mariners, the Astros looked to make it a sweep with a victory on Sunday as they continue to battle for home-field advantage in the postseason. Here is a quick recap of the series finale:

Final Score: Astros 21, Mariners 1.

Record: 94-50, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (16-5, 2.73 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Felix Hernandez (1-6, 6.96 ERA).

1) Houston has a field day at the plate

It was a highly successful day against Seattle's pitching for Houston's offense. It started against Felix Hernandez whom the Astros scored four runs in the second inning after a costly error and two-run home run by Jake Marisnick. They followed that up with a nine-run third inning, knocking Fernandez out of the game as they would get RBIs from Aledmys Diaz, Kyle Tucker, Martin Maldonado, a three-run home run by George Springer and two two-RBI doubles, both in the same inning, by Yordan Alvarez.

After Seattle got on the board with one run in the top of the fourth, the Astros pushed the lead further on a two-RBI double by Kyle Tucker in the bottom of the fifth, making it 15-1. Yordan Alvarez helped score another in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a ground-rule double, then added two more to make it six RBIs on the day as part of a five-run bottom of the seventh to make it a 21-1 advantage for Houston.

2) Cole decimates Seattle's lineup 

With all the offense, Gerrit Cole had himself in line for an easy win. That didn't shorten his day, though, as he would work quickly in inning after inning while racking up another double-digit strikeout start.

He allowed a solo home run in the top of the fourth, the only run he would allow on the day. Though he likely could have finished the game, he would be shut down after eight incredible innings. Cole's final line: 8 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 15 K, 1 HR.

Chris Devenski took over for Cole to wrap things up in the ninth. He would retire Seattle in order, completing the four-game sweep and improving Houston to 94-50 on the year and keeping them on top of the overall league standings.

Up Next: Houston will continue this homestand by starting a three-game series with the A's Monday at 7:10 PM. The pitching matchup for the opener is Zack Greinke (14-5, 3.09 ERA) for the Astros going against former-Astro Mike Fiers (14-3, 3.51 ERA) for Oakland.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Astros are in the World Series for second time in three years

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: Houston headed to World Series after ALCS Game 6 win

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Houston Astros are headed to their second World Series in three years. After losing with Justin Verlander on the mound in ALCS Game 5 in New York, the Astros returned home and did what it took to put the formidable Yankees away and finish the series, winning Game 6 by a score of 6-4 with a walk-off home run by Jose Altuve.

In what would be a battle of the bullpens, a huge three-run home run by Yuli Gurriel in the first inning was one of the difference-makers in the game, as was a game-tying shot by the Yankees off Roberto Osuna in the top of the ninth. Ultimately, it was Jose Altuve who played the hero. Here is a recap of the game that has Houston headed to the fall classic:

Final Score: Astros 6, Yankees 4.

Series: Astros win 4-2.

Winning Pitcher: Roberto Osuna.

Losing Pitcher: Aroldis Chapman.

Gurriel breaks his slump to give Astros an early lead

The Astros started ALCS Game 6 by handing the ball to Brad Peacock, who, after an eight-pitch eighth inning in Game 5, looked impressive enough to be trusted to start the bullpen day. He did his job in the top of the first, retiring the top of the Yankees order 1-2-3 on seven pitches.

In the bottom of the inning, the Astros finally got a momentous hit from Yuli Gurriel. Jose Altuve was the first baserunner of the night with a one-out double, then Alex Bregman followed with a two-out walk. That set up Gurriel, who turned an inside fastball around and snuck it into the Crawford Boxes to give Houston an early 3-0 lead.

Houston holds the lead through the middle innings with collection of relievers

Peacock remained in the game for the top of the second, but after two outs would struggle to put the Yankees away, allowing a two-out double then RBI-single to trim Houston's lead to 3-1. He would face one more batter and issue a walk before A.J. Hinch would pop out of the dugout to move on to Josh James, who would get a strikeout to end the threat.

James would continue into the third, getting two outs but eventually loading the bases, prompting another move, this time to Ryan Pressly. Pressly would get a groundout on one pitch, but after fielding it himself would look to re-injure his knee, a bad sight for Houston. Next up was Jose Urquidy who took over on the mound in the top of the fourth, but allowed a solo home run en route to completing the frame.

Urquidy would return for a 1-2-3 fifth and remain in the game for the top of the sixth. He would put two on base with one out after a walk and single, then benefited from a terrific diving catch by Reddick to get the second out and possibly save a run. That would be it for Urquidy, as the Astros would bring in Will Harris, who was able to induce a groundout on one pitch to end the threat.

Astros take the lead to the ninth

The Astros then went to work at the plate in the bottom of the sixth. Jose Altuve led the inning off with a walk, then moved to third on a single by Michael Brantley. Alex Bregman would score Altuve on an RBI-groundout, pushing Houston's lead to 4-2. Houston would get runners on second and third with two outs later in the inning, but Yordan Alvarez's struggles would continue as he struck out to end the inning and Houston's chances to add more to their lead. Harris would go back to the mound in the top of the seventh and would be able to erase a leadoff single by Aaron Judge after an incredible diving catch by Michael Brantley that would turn into a double play.

That left six more outs for Houston's bullpen to cover to finish off the game. In the top of the eighth, Joe Smith took over as the sixth pitcher for Houston and worked around a one-out single to send the game to the ninth after a double play by his defense ended the inning. Houston would load the bases in the bottom of the eighth with two outs but come out empty-handed after a groundout by Aledmys Diaz, who was pinch-hitting for the struggling Yordan Alvarez.

Yankees tie, but Jose Altuve sends Houston to the World Series

In the top of the ninth, closer Roberto Osuna came on in arguably the highest-pressure situation of his career. He allowed a leadoff single to bring the tying run to the plate, and after one out DJ LeMaheiu would tie the game with a two-run home run to right field. Osuna would get the next two batters, sending the tie game to the bottom of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman came in for the Yankees to try and keep it a tie game for New York. Instead, Jose Altuve would launch the winning home run to send the Astros to the World Series.

Up Next: World Series Game 1 will be Tuesday at 7:08 PM Central from Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Astros will likely give the ball to Gerrit Cole, who would have been used for Game 7, while the Nationals will be expected to start Max Scherzer, setting up a fierce pitching battle.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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