Houston has won five in a row

Correa, Bielak lead Astros to win over Rockies, extend winning streak to five

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Riding a four-game winning streak and having won five of their last six, the Astros welcomed the 13-8 Rockies to Minute Maid Park on Monday. The two teams were set to face each other for four-straight games, with two in Houston then two in Denver. Here is a quick rundown of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 2, Rockies 1.

Record: 12-10, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-0, 1.69 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.56 ERA).

Correa strikes first as Bielak goes six solid innings

Houston wasted no time getting on the board, getting an early rally started with two outs in the bottom of the first. With a runner already on base, Yuli Gurriel delivered a single to put runners on first and third, then Carlos Correa drove them in with a two-RBI double to give the Astros the quick 2-0 lead.

Trevor Story cut that lead in half in the top of the third, hammering a solo home run to make it 2-1. That would be the only hit Bielak allowed over his six innings of work, putting together another solid start to hold down a potent Rockies offense. His final line: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

Houston's bullpen holds on to the one-run lead

Brooks Raley took over for Bielak to pitch the top of the seventh, maintaining the one-run lead with a 1-2-3 inning. The Astros threatened to add insurance runs in the bottom of the inning but would strand two runners to keep it a one-run game. Raley would face one more batter, getting a strikeout to start the top of the eighth before Dusty Baker brought in Josh James, who would finish the inning.

After another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth by the Astros, that sent the game to the ninth, where Blake Taylor would come on for the save opportunity. He would convert it, working around a leadoff single to extend Houston's winning streak to five games and keeping them in second place in the division.

Up Next: These two teams will play Tuesday at 2:10 PM Central in the afternoon to allow time after for their flights to Denver for the other half of this series. The starters for the game will be Zack Greinke (1-0, 2.53 ERA) for the Astros and Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 3.91 ERA) for the Rockies.

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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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