Houston pulled ahead late

McCullers Jr. deals, Astros pull out the win over Angels

Astros' Lance McCullers Jr.
Lance McCullers Jr. and Shohei Ohtani provided an exciting pitching matchup Tuesday. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Lance McCullers Jr. and Shohei Ohtani provided an exciting pitching matchup Tuesday.

After watching the Angels come from behind to win the opener on Monday night, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Tuesday night to try and even the series to set up a chance to win it on Wednesday in the finale. After an enticing pitching matchup kept the game very close late into the game, Houston would pull ahead in the eighth inning to get the win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Angels 1

Astros' Record: 19-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1)

Losing Pitcher: Aaron Slegers (2-1)

McCullers Jr. and Ohtani both impress

As expected, the two starting pitchers on Tuesday night provided most of the excitement in the game's early goings. Shohei Ohtani allowed just two hits and no runs over the first four frames, with Lance McCullers Jr. doing slightly better by allowing just one hit over the same span. The first run of the night came off the bat of Kyle Tucker, who launched an opposite-field solo home run to the Crawford Boxes to put the Astros in front 1-0.

That proved to be a critical hit, as that would be the only run scored through seven innings as both Ohtani and McCullers Jr. settled in to keep it a 1-0 game. McCullers Jr. returned in the top of the eighth hunting a complete-game shutout but would see the game tied on a one-out solo home run by Taylor Ward, though he would finish the inning without any more damage. That would be it for him, posting an excellent final line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 96 P.

Houston puts it away in the eighth

Ohtani's night would end at seven innings, with the Angels moving to their bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. Houston would take advantage, getting runners on base to set up Michael Brantley for a go-ahead RBI single. With two runners still on, Yuli Gurriel would provide the exclamation point on the inning, adding some major insurance with a three-run homer to extend the new lead to 5-1. Ryan Pressly would take over in the top of the ninth, getting a 1-2-3 inning to finish off the win to even the series, setting up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Wednesday. Jose Urquidy (3-2, 3.51 ERA) will take the hill for the Astros, while Andrew Heaney (1-2, 4.11 ERA) will start for Los Angeles.

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Can the Astros secure a much-needed series sweep? Composite Getty Image.

Houston Astros (33-39, second in the AL West) vs. Chicago White Sox (19-54, fifth in the AL Central)

Chicago; Tuesday, 8:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Framber Valdez (5-4, 3.99 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 51 strikeouts); White Sox: Jonathan Cannon (0-1, 4.56 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 24 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -209, White Sox +173; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Chicago White Sox host the Houston Astros on Tuesday to start a three-game series.

Chicago has a 12-23 record in home games and a 19-54 record overall. The White Sox have gone 6-14 in games decided by one run.

Houston has a 33-39 record overall and a 14-20 record in road games. Astros hitters have a collective .418 slugging percentage to rank third in the AL.

The teams meet Tuesday for the first time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Gavin Sheets has 14 doubles, a triple and seven home runs while hitting .233 for the White Sox. Andrew Vaughn is 15-for-43 with a double and four home runs over the past 10 games.

Yordan Alvarez has 16 doubles, a triple and 14 home runs for the Astros. Jose Altuve is 14-for-40 with two doubles and two home runs over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: White Sox: 4-6, .247 batting average, 3.88 ERA, outscored by three runs

Astros: 5-5, .257 batting average, 3.78 ERA, outscored opponents by five runs

INJURIES: White Sox: Max Stassi: 60-Day IL (hip), Dominic Leone: 60-Day IL (right elbow), Dominic Fletcher: 10-Day IL (shoulder), Mike Clevinger: 15-Day IL (elbow), Eloy Jimenez: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Yoan Moncada: 60-Day IL (abductor), Jimmy Lambert: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Matt Foster: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jesse Scholtens: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Cristian Javier: 60-Day IL (forearm), Justin Verlander: day-to-day (neck), Kyle Tucker: 10-Day IL (shin), Jose Urquidy: 60-Day IL (forearm), Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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