HOUSTON — Coming off back-to-back losses to the Miami Marlins in inter-league play, the Houston Astros
offense continues to struggle to put runs on the scoreboard.
In both games, the Marlins have had strong starts while scoring runs in just the first three innings, while the Astros seem to play
catch up. The Marlins have won five straight games and have scored 22 runs in those games. The Astros have lost three straight games and are 1-4 at home since returning from Kansas City.
Despite the losses, the Astros still have comfortable lead in the AL West 8.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers. Today’s game features the Astros Ace right-hander pitcher Justin Verlander (7-2) against Marlin’s undefeated right-hander Edward Cabrera (2-0). Verlander had 1-2-3 inning in the first as the Astros needed to get off a good start against Marlins.
The Astros would get on the board in the bottom first as Jose Altuve would double into left field and get to third base on a wild pitch. Michael Brantley would ground out to first, but Altuve would come into score and the Astros took a 1-0 lead.
In the next three innings, both teams failed to score as both pitchers settled into the game. The Marlins would get their first hit of the game in the top of 4th as Miguel Rojas would single into right field. He would steal second base and reach on 3rd on a throwing error by Astros catcher Jason Castro. However, the next batter, Jesus Aguilar, would ground out to second. In the bottom of the 4th, Astros right hand-hitter Yuli Gurriel would walk first and then Jeremy Pena would homer to left field to give the Astros a 3-0 lead.
Cabrera would walk Houston’s Jose Siri, then give up a single to Altuve which would send Siri to third. Brantley would ground into a fielder’s choice which would bring in Siri to score. The Astros were not done as Alex Bregman singled to left, Yordan Alvarez would single to center, and Brantley would score from third to extend the lead to 5-0.
Justin Verlander was well in control of the game until the top of the 7th inning, when the Marlins rallied back. The Marlins got started by Jorge Soler reach on base and then to second base on a throwing error by Jeremy Pena. Verlander would get the next to batters, while Soler advance to third with two outs. Marlins’ Williams Astudillo would reach on first by another throwing error by the Astros, this time by Altuve and Soler would score the first run for the Marlins. Verlander would walk Nick Fortes and then give up a 3 run- home run to Brian De La Cruz (368 ft) to left field making it 5-4 Astros.
A close game coming down to the last two innings, the Marlins could not tie or take the lead in the top of 8th with new pitcher Hector Neris having 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom of the 8th, the Astros bats would come alive again. Jeremy Pena got hit by a pitch, Jason Castor got his first hit singling to center field. With two men on base, Jose Altuve would put the nail in the coffin for the Marlins as he would homer to left field (383 ft) to put lead back up to four runs. Brantley would walk next and then Alex Bregman would doubled deep center. Alvarez would hit a sacrifice fly to center bring in Brantley extending the Astro’s lead to 9-4.
Astros closer right-hander Ryan Pressly would come in the top of 9th and have 1-2-3 inning to finish off the Marlins to avoid the sweep and improve to 37-23 on the season. With the loss, the Marlins fall to 27-31 on the season.
The Astros finished this home stretch 2-4 and the Marlins five game winning streak would come to an end. Jose Altuve went 3 for 5 and recorded his 167th three-hit game and 520th multi-hit game. Verlander earned his 8th win of the season, and Jeremy Pena went 2 for 3 today. Yordan Alvarez went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs, while Yuli Gurriel recorded his 18th double of the season and 3rd consecutive game.
The Houston Astros travel to Arlington to start three game Lone Star Series with the Texas Rangers, while the Miami Marlins have a day off and then travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies in a three-game series.
Written by James Leyva