ASTROS REPORT

Here's how the Astros put together an impressive 6-game winning streak

What a week for Houston! Composite image by Jack Brame.

After sweeping the Rangers in a four game series, The Astros have secured their longest winning streak of the season.

Houston has won 6 consecutive games and have earned wins in 9 of their last 11 contests.

Their recent success has come on the heels of stellar hitting performances by the top 5 hitters in their lineup and a recent resurgence in power from one outfielder as well.

The Astros ended last week winning 2 of 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays and looked to face off against their division rivals the Los Angeles Angels for a three-game series.

Monday's game with the Halos was the worst game of the week, as the Astros took their lone loss of the series.

Houston did not have an answer for Jared Walsh as he connected on a solo home run and matched a career high with four hits to lead the Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Astros.

Tuesday night's game proved to be a very anticipated matchup as it showcased Lance McCullers vs. Shohei Ohtani.

Both pitchers gave strong performances on the mound and combined for 19 strikeouts.

Neither Ohtani nor McCullers qualified for the win, as both pitchers gave up solo shots and left the game at 1-1.

Once Ohtani left the game, the Astros were able to take advantage of the Angels bullpen to win the contest.

Outfielder Michael Brantley hit an RBI single to score Jose Altuve and send Aledmys Díaz to third. Thus giving the Astros their first lead of the game 2-1.

Yordan Alvarez grounded into a fielder's choice which put Brantley at third and Diaz was thrown out at home.

This set up one of the Astros' hottest hitters Yuli Gurriel. He took Angels' pitcher Alex Claudio deep to secure the Astros a 5-1 victory.

The rubber match of the series proved to be the best game for the Astros' bats as they blasted a season-high five home runs.

Altuve and Gurriel both homered in the first inning to give the Astros a quick 3-0 lead.

Houston starter José Urquidy allowed two hits and struck out four in 3 2/3 innings before leaving with posterior shoulder discomfort.

Brandon Bielak picked up where Urquidy left off and threw a season-high 3 1/3 innings in relief and gave up just one run.

Kyle Tucker added a little bit of insurance as he hit a two-run shot in the 6th inning to give the Astros a 5-0 lead.

Yordon Alvarez and rookie Chas McCormick both hit homers in the bottom of the 8th to give the Astros a 9-1 victory.

"Guys are getting good pitches to hit and keeping pitchers in the stretch," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "Hitting's contagious and just keep them coming."

After winning two consecutive series in a row, the Astros looked to continue this momentum against their in-state rivals, the Texas Rangers.

Thursday's game was a nail-biter as it took extra innings for Houston to come away victorious.

Texas took an early 2-0 lead before Jose Altuve hit a three-run double to put the Astros on top 3-2.

Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo tied the game at 3 with an RBI groundout in the 3rd inning. The game remained tied going into extra innings.

In the bottom of the 10th the Astros loaded the bases but were unable to score a run.

A similar situation happened in the bottom of the 11th as Chas McCormick came to the plate with all three ducks on the pond.

He was facing Brett Martin, when a 1-2 pitch got away from the catcher Jose Trevino. The passed ball led to Myles Straw scoring from third base to win the game.

"I was ready, especially with two strikes there," Straw said. "I had a feeling they would bounce a breaking ball, so I stayed ready and sure enough, I saw it kind of get away a little bit. I was going to be overaggressive there with two strikes. Even if it was a little bit closer than that, I was probably going to go."

The second game of the series took place Friday night and was the best game for two Astros players in quite some time.

Catcher Martin Maldonado hit a homer and drove in three runs to help the Astros win 10-4, their best offensive output of the week.

Pitcher Zack Greinke had one of his best games of the season as he threw seven innings, gave up three runs and received his 3rd win of the season.

Game number three on Saturday was much closer, as Texas put up their best fight of the series.

The Astros got off to a quick start against Texas pitcher Dane Dunning. They scored four runs capped off by a Carlos Correa two-run homer to give Houston a 4-1 lead.

Kyle Tucker continued his torrid home run pace as he hit a two-run shot to give the Astros a 6-1 lead.

Tucker has now tied his career high for homers in a season at 9 and leads the team in this category as well.

The Rangers almost made a comeback behind an 8th inning three-run homer by Joey Gallo and Andy Ibanez driving in an additional run to cut the deficit to one at 6-5.

This would be as far as Texas would get, as Ryan Pressly earned his 7th save of the year in the top of the 9th inning to secure an Astros victory.

Houston looked for their 2nd four-game sweep of the season (their first being in Oakland to start the year).

Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa drove in the first two runs of the game to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Lance McCullers took the mound and threw six scoreless innings.

This is his 5th consecutive game in which McCullers has thrown more than five innings in a start.

Andre Scrubb came into the game after McCullers and gave up a two-run homer to Rangers outfielder David Dahl to tie the game 2-2.

Shortly after, the Astros took the lead in the bottom of the 8th behind a sacrifice fly from Gurriel and singles from both Chas McCormick and Myles Straw to give the Astros a 6-2 lead.

Enoli Paredes made his return from the injured list to close out the game.

The Astros have now won six games in a row and four Astros players are hitting over .300 six weeks into the season. (Altuve, Alvarez, Bregman and Gurriel).

Kyle Tucker has increased his batting average from .192 on Monday to .225 by Sunday.

UP NEXT: The Astros look to continue their winning ways as they start a six-game road trip Tuesday, May 18th against the Oakland A's for three games then three games in Arlington against the Texas Rangers.

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Luis Garcia played his part in a pitcher's duel with Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With an impressive offensive onslaught to overpower Chicago in game one of this series, the Astros entered this second of four games hoping to keep their momentum going. After an impressive pitcher's duel left the game tied late into the game, Houston would edge out the win with a big walk-off in the ninth.

Final Score: Astros 2, White Sox 1

Astros' Record: 41-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Crochet (2-3)

Garcia matches Rodon in a pitcher's duel

Both starting pitchers were very effective, save one inning, in their respective seven innings of work. For Luis Garcia, he had his struggles in the top of the first to start the game, allowing a one-out double and single to put runners on second and third, setting up an RBI single to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

He limited the damage to that one run, both in that inning and the rest of his night, as he would follow that with six straight scoreless frames. Once he found his groove in the fourth, he would retire 12 of 13 batters he faced over that span to get through seven one-run innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

For Houston, it took until one out into the fifth inning to get a hit and their first baserunner against Carlos Rodon. That sparked an opportunity to grab a lead, as they would go on to load the bases still with one out but would get just one run out of it with a two-out RBI walk by Martin Maldonado to tie the game up 1-1.

Astros walk it off in the ninth

Ryne Stanek was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, erasing a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to keep things gridlocked. Still in a stalemate in the top of the ninth, the Astros opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly to try and keep it tied to set up a potential walk-off. He was perfect, striking out Chicago 1-2-3 to send it to the home half.

In the bottom of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel got the winning run on base by hitting a one-out single. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who got the walk-off hit, roping a ball into the right-field corner deep enough for Gurriel to hustle from first to home to win it for Houston, 2-1.

Up Next: Now having won five in a row, the Astros will try to lock up this series in game three of four on Saturday at 6:15 PM Central. Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51 ERA) will try to get a win for the White Sox, while Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his 2021 success for Houston.

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