Houston's bats are hot

Houston keeps mashing, secures another series win against Boston

Houston kept barreling up balls in Wednesday's game in Boston. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive statement in the opener of this three-game set, Houston entered Wednesday's middle game with a chance to lock up their third-straight series and eighth win in their last ten games. They would get it, as their lineup powered the way to the victory.

Final Score: Astros 8, Red Sox 3

Astros' Record: 35-26, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi (7-3)

Odorizzi overcomes tough first inning

Jake Odorizzi looked like he may be en route to an early exit in Wednesday's middle game, thanks to a rough first inning. He started his night with a walk, followed by a double to put runners on second and third. Both would score, one on a sac fly and the other on an RBI single, giving Boston a 2-0 lead.

He settled in, though, after that, with a 1-2-3 second and third, getting back on track. He allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fourth but retired the next six batters in a row to complete five innings. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Houston's bats keep connecting

He left in line for the win, thanks to another strong performance from Houston's offense. Down 2-0 after the first inning, they went to work in the top of the second, getting back-to-back two-out doubles to cut the lead in half. They followed that with a four-run third, starting with a leadoff solo homer by Jose Altuve, then RBI hits by Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel, and Michael Brantley, giving the Astros a 5-2 lead at the time.

Now a two-run game in the bottom of the sixth at 5-3, and with Odorizzi's day done, Cristian Javier would come in to try and get through as much as he could. After he sat down Boston 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Houston added a run in the top of the seventh on a sac fly by Myles Straw, pushing it back to a three-run game. Javier followed that with a five-pitch bottom of the inning. Houston added more insurance in the top of the eighth, with Carlos Correa reaching base to set up a two-run bomb by Alex Bregman, making it 8-3.

Javier goes the rest of the way as Astros secure the series

Javier kept going in the bottom of the eighth and recorded another scoreless frame by erasing a one-out single, then tried to finish things off in the ninth. He'd make quick work of Boston once again, finishing the "piggy-back" for Odorizzi in the two-pitcher game that kept the Astros in step with the Oakland A's in the battle for best in the AL West.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set and the last of the seven-game season series between Houston and Boston will be another 6:10 PM Central start on Thursday. The Astros will go up against Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4, 5.59 ERA) for Boston, who allowed six runs to Houston when they squared off on May 31st. Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.38 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros.

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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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