Houston takes two of three

Astros grab series victory with win over Blue Jays in finale

Jose Altuve started Sunday's finale with a bang. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of the series, and Houston leading the six-game season series 3-2, the Astros and Blue Jays returned to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, for a decisive final matchup. Houston would come out on top, building up a lead that Luis Garcia and his bullpen could hold on to for the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Blue Jays 3

Astros' Record: 33-26, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (5-3)

Losing Pitcher: Steven Matz (6-3)

Houston builds up an early lead

Houston received an immediate lead in this one, courtesy of another leadoff home run by Jose Altuve to grab a 1-0 lead. Chas McCormick matched that to lead off the second inning, getting one of his own to double the lead. Toronto cut that in half in the bottom of the second against Luis Garcia, getting runners to second and third to set up a sac fly by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to make it 2-1.

Houston responded in the top of the next inning, loading the bases for Kyle Tucker, who delivered a two-RBI single to grow Houston's lead to 4-1. That score held until the top of the seventh when Houston would take advantage of some defensive miscues by Toronto to load the bases. Martin Maldanado grounded into what should have been an inning-ending play but instead beat out a throw after an error to make it a 5-1 Houston lead, though they could have had more.

Garcia stays hot on the mound

Luis Garcia allowed just that one run in his six innings of work, stranding runners in scoring position in the third and fourth before sitting down the last seven batters he faced in order, four of them on strikeouts. It ended up being another excellent day for him on the mound, where if not for the four-run lead, he may have kept going for more. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 79 P.

Astros take the series

Brooks Raley took over out of Houston's bullpen with the four-run lead in the bottom of the seventh. He kept it there, tossing a 1-2-3 frame with a strikeout to move the game to the eighth. Alex Bregman scalded a one-out double in the top of the inning, getting into scoring position for a two-out RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to grow the lead to five runs. Raley would face one more batter, getting the first out of the bottom of the eighth.

Ryne Stanek tried to take over and finish the inning from there but created his own trouble by loading the bases on a hit batter, single, and a walk. Houston ceded a run in favor of an out on a groundout, but Toronto would bring in another on a two-out RBI single, making it a 6-3 game before Stanek would get the final out. After a scoreless top of the inning, Ryan Pressly notched the save to finish off the win in the bottom of the ninth.

Up Next: Houston will get a day off on Monday before resuming this road trip on Tuesday in Boston against the Red Sox. The first of that three-game set will start at 6:10 PM Central on Tuesday, with Framber Valdez (1-0, 1.64 ERA) for the Astros expected to go up against Martin Perez (4-2, 3.09 ERA) for the Red Sox.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome