How Dusty Baker plans to attack Mariners in must-win game for Astros

GAME PLAN

How Dusty Baker plans to attack Mariners in must-win game for Astros
Michael Brantley will start in left field in the finale against Seattle. Composite Getty Image.

It all comes down to this. If the Astros are able to come away with a victory on Wednesday night, they control their own destiny moving forward. But if they fall to the Mariners, they will likely have to sweep Arizona and get some help from the Rangers to have a chance at the postseason.

The Astros are currently a half game up on Seattle, but a loss tonight would push Houston out of the final wild card spot and give the Mariners a leg up.

How will Dusty deploy his hitters in the biggest game of the season?

Tonight's lineup is missing several key pieces to the Astros' offense. Chas McCormick and Yainer Diaz. McCormick might be out of the lineup due to getting hit by a pitch on Tuesday night. And Diaz's only shot at playing was hitting DH, with Martin Maldonado catching for Framber Valdez as he has done all season.

In what could be a silver lining, Michael Brantley has returned to play left field, with Yordan Alvarez sliding over to the DH spot. And once again Dusty Baker is sticking to his guns with Jose Abreu hitting 5th once again.

Let's hope Framber Valdez has one of his classic performances, because runs could be tough to come by if the top 4 guys in the lineup don't come through with big performances.

Let's go get this one! Go Astros!


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Giants defeat the Astros, 5-3. Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images.

Austin Slater had three hits and drove in two runs to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Houston Astros 5-3 on Wednesday.

Slater also stole a base and scored for San Francisco, which took the rubber game of the three-game series in a speedy 2 hours, 7 minutes.

Yordan Álvarez homered for Houston, which has lost three of four overall.

The Giants jumped on Framber Valdez for five runs and eight hits in four innings. Valdez (5-4) threw 59 pitches in his shortest outing of the season, finishing with just one strikeout, his fewest in a game since July 26 when he had one against Texas.

San Francisco right-hander Logan Webb (6-5) permitted three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Ryan Walker, Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval combined for three scoreless innings in relief. Doval struck out former Giants utility player Mauricio Dubón to end the game, earning his 12th save in 14 chances.

Wilmer Flores gave San Francisco an early lead with a sacrifice fly in the third. Matt Chapman followed with an RBI double.

Jeremy Peña drove in Houston’s first run on an infield single in the fourth.

Slater answered with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning, and Heliot Ramos added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.

Álvarez hit a two-run homer to center in the sixth, his 14th of the year.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Kyle Tucker (right shin contusion) has not begun baseball activities and is not expected to return Friday when he is eligible to come off the injured list. However, manager Joe Espada did not rule him out for the weekend. ... C Yainer Díaz missed his third straight game with a sore right index finger, though Espada said he was available off the bench and should be ready to start Friday.

Giants: LHP Blake Snell (left groin strain) threw off a mound for the first time since going on the IL on June 3. ... RHP Austin Warren (right elbow UCL surgery) pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout in a rehab outing with Single-A San Jose on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Astros: Return home for a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers beginning Friday night. RHP Hunter Brown (2-5, 5.58 ERA) seeks his fifth straight quality start, while Detroit hadn’t announced a starter.

Giants: Host the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series starting Friday night. Neither team had announced a starter.

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