Houston is now 4-1

Angels rally late, hand Astros first loss of 2021

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Starting the day as one of the last few undefeated teams in the league, the Astros entered this short two-game series with the Angels in Anaheim looking to translate their success against the A's. This game would be arguably their toughest so far on paper, with some uncertainty about their current fifth starter Luis Garcia on the mound and going up against Los Angels, who capped off a 3-1 series win against the White sox with a walk-off victory on Sunday night.

It would live up to the expected difficulty, with the Astros dropping their first game of the early season as the Angels would put together an eighth-inning rally to put both teams at 4-1.

Final Score: Angels 7, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 4-1, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Tony Watson (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Joe Smith (0-1)

Houston keeps to their scoring ways early

Houston jumped out to an immediate lead to keep their scoring ways from Oakland alive. The top of the order was aggressive against Jose Quintana, getting three-straight singles, the third an RBI-single by Alex Bregman to start the scoring. Carlos Correa brought in another on a two-out RBI before a wild pitch brought in a third to put the Astros in front 3-0 before the Angels could get to the plate.



They put together another threat in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back walks to start the inning, followed two batters later by a one-out RBI-single by Jose Altuve to make it 4-0. They went on to load the bases but would strand all three runners, leaving the door open for Los Angeles.

Angels crack Garcia their second time through the order

Luis Garcia looked impressive through the first three innings, keeping the Angels hitless and allowing just two baserunners via walks. In the bottom of the fourth, Mike Trout started a rally by depositing a hanging changeup 417 feet away to get Los Angeles on the board.



Three of the following four batters would single, bringing in another run, making it a 4-2 game. Garcia then loaded the bases with a one-out walk, prompting a pitching change by Dusty Baker to bring in Ryne Stanek to try and stop the bleeding. Stanek would handle the pressure perfectly, sitting down the next two batters to leave the bases loaded. Garcia's final line: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 68 P.

Angels rally in the eighth, hand Astros their first loss

Brooks Raley took over on the mound in the bottom of the fifth, not his prettiest inning, as he would allow a run to come in on two hits and a walk to make it a one-run game. Houston's offense manufactured a run of their own in the top of the sixth, with Martin Maldonado leading off with a walk, moving to second on a single by Alex Bregman, then hustling in to score on an RBI-single by Yordan Alvarez.

Bryan Abreu gave his team two scoreless innings, allowing only a one-out single in the seventh while retiring the other six batters he faced to maintain the two-run lead. Joe Smith entered as the setup-man in the bottom of the eighth but would not record an out, giving up two singles and hitting a pinch-hitting Shohei Ohtani to load the bases.

Blake Taylor entered to try and get out of the jam but instead would watch the Angels take their first lead of the night, putting together a four-run inning to jump in front 7-5. Despite a one-out solo home run by Kyle Tucker to make it a one-run game, Houston would come up short in the top of the ninth, earning their first loss of the season and moving down into a tie with the now 4-1 Angels for first place in the division.

Up Next: Tuesday's finale of this short two-game series will be an early start at 3:07 PM. Zack Greinke (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start of the year, while Griffin Canning (2-3, 3.99 ERA in 2020) will make his first start of the season.

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.



That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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