In what was a low-scoring game, the Astros came out with the best part. On Sunday afternoon, they finally defeated the Orioles –this time with a 3-1 score— after losing the first two contests of the series. Yuli Gurriel had a clutch two-run single while Alex Bregman delivered a solo blast to give the Astros the W. On a negative note, Justin Verlander had to leave his start due to what the team called “discomfort” in his right calf.
The game began as a pitcher’s duel between Verlander and also righty Austin Voth. Verlander hung three zeroes, allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out six before coming out of the game. His counterpart, Voth, kept the Astros with only one hit until Kyle Tucker’s seventh-inning double.
With two men in scoring position after Tucker’s extra-base hit, Trey Mancini struck out and Yuli knocked his two-run single past the Orioles’ second baseman to make it 2-0 – an encouraging sign after entering this game 2-for-14 in his previous four contests.
An inning later, in the bottom eighth, Bregman clubbed his 20th home run of the season and his seventh in his last 17 games. For Alex, it’s the first time he reaches 20 long balls since 2019.
On July 8th, Alex Bregman told me he'd hit 20 homers, or at least 20 doubles from that point forward, because he was pain free and found his mechanics. Since that day he's hit 10 homers and 17 doubles with a 173 wRC+. Baseball players, man.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) August 28, 2022
The bullpen did a helluva job today. With Verlander’s early departure, Seth Martínez, Bryan Abreu, Ryne Stanek, Héctor Neris, and Rafael Montero got the job done and combined to go six innings of four-hit, one-run ball, along with seven strikeouts. Montero, who surrendered the Orioles’ lone run, was credited with his ninth save of the season.
Regarding additional notes, Yordan Álvarez was out of the lineup on Sunday. According to Chandler Rome, Álvarez acknowledged after Saturday’s game that his hand had been an issue for the last couple of weeks, the same injury that sent him to the IL weeks ago. Also, Trey Mancini finished this series 1-for-10 with five Ks against his former team. Lastly, rookie David Hensley registered his first career hit in the Majors.
The Astros will be off this Monday to come back to action on Tuesday, when they host the Rangers for a two-game series at Minute Maid Park. This is going to be only a five-game homestand.