Houston gets a huge win in LA

Astros rally late to beat the Dodgers in pivotal game

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a disappointing series in Oakland where they went 1-4, the Astros had a day off on Friday before starting a quick two-game series with arguably the best team in the MLB right now, the Dodgers, in Los Angeles. Here is a recap of the first game:

Final Score: Astros 7, Dodgers 5.

Record: 23-23, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Josh James (1-0, 9.95 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Kenley Jansen (3-1, 3.93 ERA).

Astros strike first, then Dodgers go to work on Valdez

The Astros were able to get a run across in the first, which is one thing they have done a decent job with this season. George Springer started the game with a double, moved to third on a groundout, then scored on an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel, giving Houston the quick 1-0 lead.

After Framber Valdez made quick work of the top of the Dodgers' order in the bottom of the first, the bottom of their order would knock him around in the second. After a one-out single, Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, which became 3-1 on the next batter as Enrique Hernandez would hit a solo home run.

Valdez would allow two more runs over his five innings, while he would get no more run support behind him; one on a sac fly to turn a one-out triple into a run in the third, then an RBI-single in the fifth, which came after a walk and wild pitch. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 82 P.

Houston's bullpen holds the Dodgers at bay

After Valdez's five innings, Humberto Castellanos would come in as the first reliever for Houston, erasing a one-out double and two-out single for a scoreless inning. Cionel Perez was next for the bottom of the seventh and would face three batters, getting two outs and allowing a single, before Josh James would come in to finish the inning via a caught stealing.

Houston would get one run closer in the top of the eighth, with Alex Bregman following a leadoff single by George Springer by beating a potential double play to reach on a fielder's choice, moving to third on a single by Michael Brantley, then scoring on a groundout by Yuli Gurriel, making it 5-2.

Astros rally in the ninth to steal the win

The Astros would get back-to-back singles to start the ninth, against the Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen, before both would score on a two-RBI double by Josh Reddick to make it a 5-4 game, with Reddick representing the tying run on second. Reddick would move to third on a single by Martin Maldonado, then scored on a game-tying RBI-single by George Springer, making it 5-5.

Alex Bregman would come up next and provided Houston their first lead since the beginning of the game, getting an RBI-single to make it 6-5. Yuli Gurriel would follow later with a sac fly, giving the Astros an additional insurance run at 7-5. Ryan Pressly would hold on to those two runs, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it along with a two-out double to give Houston the big win.

Up Next: The closing game of this quick two-game set is Sunday at 7:00 PM on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.27 ERA) will start for the Astros against the team he played for in 2013-2015, while the Dodgers' starter is TBD.

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Houston's offense had another strong day at the plate in Seattle against the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

After striking a deal with the Mariners before Tuesday's game, along with a reported deal with the Marlins on Wednesday before the finale, the Astros continued to try and bolster their bullpen with fresh arms while also focusing on this series against Seattle. Having won the night prior to even it up, it came down to the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon to decide the series.

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 4

Astros' Record: 63-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-5)

Losing Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-6)

Astros continue to score runs in Seattle

Just like in the earlier games in this series, the Astros had no problems offensively. They strung together four consecutive one-run innings, starting in the top of the second when they loaded the bases, then got an RBI groundout by Myles Straw to go up 1-0. In the top of the third, Yuli Gurriel drove one in on a two-out RBI double, bringing in Jose Altuve, who led the inning off with a double of his own. Chas McCormick led off with a single in the fourth, then later scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz.

The fourth run in as many innings came in the top of the fifth, as Gurriel would notch his second RBI with a solo homer to start that inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. They didn't stop there, and neither did Gurriel, as he would get RBI number three on the day as part of a four-run top of the sixth, with RBI hits him, Altuve, Diaz, and Carlos Correa, doubling the lead to 8-0.

Odorizzi gets to the sixth before allowing two homers

The run support gave Jake Odorizzi plenty of leeway, which he didn't need until the bottom of the sixth. He held Seattle scoreless over the first five frames, allowing just four baserunners on a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles, all peppered over that span and erased in each inning. Kyle Seager would get the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a one-out solo homer to cut the lead to seven runs at 8-1. After a single in the next at-bat, recently traded Abraham Toro made it four games in a row with a homer, this one a two-run shot to cut the lead to 8-3 and end Odorizzi's day. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 95 P.

Houston wins the series

Houston brought in Brooks Raley to finish the sixth, issuing two walks but stranding them to keep it a five-run lead. Myles Straw helped push that back to six in the top of the seventh, reaching on a single to start the innings, then stealing both second and third to get in position for Diaz's third RBI of the day, a groundout to make it 9-3. Cristian Javier was the next reliever out for the Astros, but he would not make it through the bottom of the seventh, allowing a single and three walks, the third with the bases loaded to bring in a run.

Bryan Abreu was brought in to get out of the jam, getting a strikeout to end the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker would put two more runs on the board with a two-run homer making the lead seven runs at 11-4. Abreu remained in for the bottom of the eighth, erasing two one-out singles to get through the frame. Brandon Bielak took over in the bottom of the ninth to close things out, posting a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: Houston will travel down the coast to San Fransisco before getting a day off on Thursday. They'll pick up an exciting three-game series with the Giants on Friday, with the opener slated to start at 8:45 PM Central. Framber Valdez (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while San Fransisco's starter is TBD.

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