Houston pulled ahead late

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

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

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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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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