Houston drops the middle game

Angels get best of Garcia, Astros to even series

Despite Yordan Alvarez reaching base four times, Houston's offense couldn't get it done against the Angels on Saturday. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

After outslugging the Angels in Friday's opener to start the series with a win, the opportunity stood in front of the Astros again to secure a series victory and set up a potential sweep. The Angels would prevent that, though, by outplaying Houston on Saturday night.

Final Score: Angels 4, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 82-59, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (7-7)

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (10-7)

Garcia gives up four over five

For the third time in his last five starts, Luis Garcia would allow three or more earned runs while not making it through six innings. The Angels tagged him in the top of the first, getting two runs on three hits, including a one-out RBI double followed by an RBI groundout, putting them ahead 2-0.

After erasing a one-out single in the second, a leadoff single in the top of the third would turn into a one-out two-run homer, doubling Los Angeles' lead to 4-0. Garcia would finish that frame, then posted a 1-2-3 fourth and erased a leadoff walk in the fifth to end his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 82 P.

Astros drop the middle game

Houston trimmed the lead to three runs in the bottom of the fourth, getting a one-out single by Jose Siri, who stole second before the Astros would load the bases with one out. Yuli Gurriel scored Siri with an RBI fielder's choice, but the Angels limited the damage there, keeping it 4-1.

Brandon Bielak took over for Luis Garcia in the top of the sixth, stranding two runners to keep it a three-run game. He returned in the top of the seventh, posting a 1-2-3 frame, and kept going in the top of the eighth with another scoreless inning as the score remained 4-1.

After a scoreless top of the ninth by Blake Taylor, Houston started a rally in the bottom half, getting a single and a walk to set up an RBI double by Garrett Stubbs to cut the lead to two runs. That left the tying run on second with one out. The rally would come up short, with both runners ending the night stranded as the Angels would finish the win to set up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The finale of this series will be a 1:10 PM Central start on Sunday. Jaime Barria (2-3, 5.16 ERA) will take the mound for Los Angeles, while Houston will hand the ball to Lance McCullers Jr. (11-4, 3.19 ERA).

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TEXANS MAKE SURPRISING CUT

Texans to release prominent player on defense

Zach Cunningham is on his way out of Houston. Composite image by Jack Brame.

According to multiple reports, the Texans are waiving LB Zach Cunningham. Cunningham was benched last Sunday for disciplinary reasons, which reportedly stemmed from a missed COVID test. Cunningham was also benched for a quarter earlier in the season for breaking team rules.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Texans will have to eat his 12.8 million dollar cap hit next season.

Cunningham started in seven of the 10 games he’s played this season recording 67 tackles and a forced fumble. The Texans are at a point where there's hardly anyone left on the team that has any name recognition with what's left of the fan base. And now the Texans have another position that will have to be addressed this offseason.

Cunningham will likely command a lot of attention from other teams interested in his services.

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