Houston is now third in the division

Astros swept by A's as losing streak grows to five games

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With Oakland having already locked up the series victory, the Astros took the field on Sunday looking to end their road trip with a win to break their four-game losing streak and trim a game off the A's growing division lead. Here is a quick rundown of the series finale:

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 2.

Record: 6-9, third in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jesus Luzardo (1-0, 2.60 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Cristian Javier (1-1, 4.02 ERA).

Oakland knocks Javier out early

The A's were able to get to Cristian Javier early on Sunday and knock him out of the game early. After a scoreless first frame, Javier allowed a solo home run in the second, but the real damage came in the third. In the bottom of the third, he issued two walks to set up a two-out three-run home run, followed by a solo shot as Oakland would get back-to-back homers to take a 5-0 lead.

Javier would get the third out, but would not return for the fourth inning. It would take him 63 pitches to get through his three innings, with all of his hits allowed being home runs, which paired with the walks resulted in the lopsided score. His final line: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 HR.

Benches clear in the seventh

Houston tried to start a rally in the top of the next inning, getting a two-out double by Michael Brantley followed by a two-run homer by Yuli Gurriel to cut Oakland's lead to three runs at 5-2. Brandon Bailey would take over for Javier in the bottom of the fourth and worked around a lead-off walk for a scoreless inning.

Bailey stayed on the mound for the bottom of the fifth but ran into trouble by allowing a single and hitting a batter to put two on base, with one eventually coming in to score later in the inning against Andre Scrubb, who was the next reliever out. Scrubb would record a 1-2-3 sixth before Humberto Castellanos took over in the bottom of the seventh in the 6-2 game.

After one out, a pitch would get away from Castellanos and hit Ramon Laureano. After bickering occurred back and forth between Laureano and the Astros bench, Laureano would charge the dugout and prompt a full benches-clearing brawl. Once things settled down, Castellanos would finish the inning but not before the A's pushed the lead back to five runs at 7-2.

Oakland completes the sweep, Houston's losing streak extends to five 

Carlos Sanabria made his second appearance of 2020 by pitching in the bottom of the eighth. He would allow a leadoff double and two-out walk but was able to strand both runners in a scoreless inning. Houston would come up empty in the top of the ninth, giving Oakland the series sweep, extending the Astros' losing streak to five games, and pushing them down to third in the division standings.

Up Next: The Astros will travel back to Houston to start an eight-game homestand on Monday at 8:10 PM against the Giants, who sit at 7-10 on the year. Houston will send out Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 9.22 ERA) in the opener of the three-game set, looking to turn the page on the extremely disappointing start in Arizona, while San Francisco is expected to send out Logan Webb (1-0, 2.13 ERA).

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Yordan Alvarez provided the offense to back up more stellar pitching by the Astros as they took ALCS game 6 to advance to the 2021 World Series. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of this series in Houston then falling behind in the series 2-1 by dropping the first of three games in Boston, the Astros took over the ALCS in Games 4 and 5, sending them back to their home crowd with a chance to finish things off in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park. After another stellar performance by their pitching staff and more timely hitting, they would accomplish that mission, winning the series and moving on to the 2021 World Series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 0

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston wins 4-2

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Houston strikes first to start tightly-contested Game 6

After a scoreless top of the first inning by Boston's offense, the Astros capitalized on a chance to be first to score in the bottom of the frame. Alex Bregman started the two-out rally, reaching base on a single against Nathan Eovaldi for the first hit of the night. Yordan Alvarez followed, delivering his sixth RBI of the series with a double to put Houston on top 1-0.

That did not spark further immediate scoring, as the one-run score held while both starting pitchers provided solid outings for their team. For Eovaldi, he was able to limit Houston to just that single run through four frames. He returned in the bottom of the fifth, facing two batters, allowing a single, and getting a strikeout to end his night.

Garcia impresses in big start

For the home team, they were recipients of another expectation-exceeding performance from one of their young arms. Only anticipated to go a handful of innings, Luis Garcia worked efficiently and effectively against Boston, keeping them scoreless and hitless through five innings. He continued in the sixth, getting two more outs before allowing a two-out triple, ending his night as Phil Maton would enter to strand the tying run. Garcia's final line: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 76 P.

With both teams dipping into their bullpens, the Astros took advantage of Boston's as Yordan Alvarez's dominance went on display once again. He led the inning off with a triple, then scored on a double-play ball to extend Houston's lead to 2-0. Kendall Graveman took over on the mound in the top of the seventh and worked himself into a big moment. He gave up a one-out walk, followed by a single, which put runners on the corners for Boston. He continued to struggle with the zone, falling behind the next batter 3-1, but was able to battle back to get the strikeout paired with a terrific throw by Martin Maldonado to cut down the runner from first trying to steal second, ending the inning and maintaining the two-run advantage.

Astros headed to the World Series

Ryne Stake was Houston's next reliever, and he put Houston three outs away by getting a 1-2-3 eighth. With Ryan Pressly warming, he watched and hoped that his offense could give him some more insurance to work with when he went to the mound in the top of the ninth. His wish would be granted, as after getting two on base, Kyle Tucker would put a major exclamation point on the night's offense, hitting a three-run opposite-field homer to the Crawford Boxes to push the lead to 5-0.

Pressly, now with the five-run lead, came on to try and start the celebration by getting the final three outs. Against the tougher part of Boston's order, he would get a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Astros the American League pennant, which along with those won in 2017 and 2019, puts them back in the World Series for the third time in five years.

Up Next: The Astros will have three days off before The Fall Classic kicks off. While Game 1 will be on Tuesday, October 26th, nothing else has yet been determined as Houston awaits to see which of the Dodgers and Braves will advance out of the NL, which will also dictate if the Astros will host or travel to World Series Game 1.

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