Houston, Tx—The Cubs entered tonight’s game at 19-22 and Houston came in three better at 22-19.
The Astros took game 1 of this 3 game set on Monday night and the Chicago Cubs were looking to even the series at one a piece, but the World Champion Houston Astros were not going to have that! Mauricio Dubon set the stage early with a ground-rule double to lead the Astros off, and later scored on a wild pitch just eight pitches into the game that put the Astros up 1-0.
In the top of the 2nd, the 25 year old Rookie call up Matt Mervis took one deep to right field off Christian Javier to tie the game at one a piece which was his first MLB career home run. 4.0 Sports Media had the opportunity to interview the Rookie in Pregame warmups and he was laser focused and ready to take the field at Minute Maid Park for the first time as he was just called up 10 days ago.
Alex Bregman led off the 4th inning and was hit by a pitch, reached base and scored from first on an Alvarez RBI double. Yordan Alvarez set a Houston Astros franchise record tonight as he has reached base safely in every game he’s played this season which is 36 and tonight he also extended his current hitting streak to 13 games.
The next batter Justin Steele saw was Kyle Tucker who also hit a double going back to back. Two batters later the local Houston product Corey Julks doubled on a sharp line drive to center, scoring Tucker. Then the strong left hander Steele faced Chas McCormick and he hammered the 4th double of the inning which blew the game wide open in the 4th inning 5-1 – and the Astros never looked back.
In the 6th inning McCormick climbed the wall in left center field and robbed an extra base hit from Dansby Swanson which ignited the 34,280 fans in attendance prompting Christian Javier to tip his cap, as he signaled to the speedy center fielder McCormick which brought down the house. The catch and athleticism by McCormick was as good as any we’ve seen all season in the Major Leagues in that position. It was incredible!
Christian Javier had a solid performance through 6 innings, and picked up his 4th win of the season, striking out 5 and only giving up 2 hits, along with 2 walks, the Cubs only run came on a solo shot from the Rookie Matt Mervis in the 2nd.
Justine Steele left the game after 6th inning and giving up 5 earned runs, on 5 hits. Steele also had 8K’s. Entering tonight’s game Steele had not been roughed up this season and was undefeated at a perfect 6-0 record and carried a 1.82 ERA into Tuesday night’s game at Minute Maid Park which ranks him 2nd in the National League behind San Francisco’s Alex Cobb who has a 1.70 ERA.
The Astros piled on in the 7th after a Maldonado walk, a Dubon double – his 10th of the season, off the Cubs reliever Nick Burdi, which led to a sacrifice fly from Bregman who extended the lead to 6-1. Alvarez put the nail in the coffin on a line drive to right, scoring Dubon which made it 7-1, on his franchise record breaking night in front of this energized crowd.
Left-handed Matt Gage came into the game in the 8th and retired all three batters he saw. Gage continued on in the 9th and struck out the first batter he saw which was Dansby Swanson, however Gage got into a little trouble when he face Christopher Morel who doubled, followed by a Seiya Suzuki Home Run which was his 3rd of the year – bringing the game to 7-3, but it would not be enough for the Cubs as they dropped their 4th game in a row, and the Houston Astros (23-19) won their 3rd in a row.
Next Up:The Astros will face the Cubbies once again tomorrow in the series finale at 7:10 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.