Houston loses fourth straight in extra innings

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 3-2 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston was in Oakland on Friday night for game two of the four-game series against the A's. They had Justin Verlander on the mound as they attempted to end their three-game skid and get things back on track. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: A's 3, Astros 2.

Record: 78-45, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Lou Trevino (4-5, 4.85 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Cy Sneed (0-1, 4.26 ERA).

1) Verlander with another quality start

After his four earned run outing against Baltimore last Sunday, Justin Verlander needed one of his typical dominant starts to rebound and get back on track. He looked in command for most of the night, peppering the zone with strikes to rack up strikeouts all through the night.

Unfortunately, two of the four hits he allowed were solo home runs, which tainted his otherwise terrific night, though he would work his way up to another double-digit strikeout night with seven innings pitched. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 2 HR.

2) Offense held in check until the sixth

While Verlander was working his way through seven two-run innings, Houston's offense was held scoreless until the sixth inning. In the top of the sixth, Michael Brantley hit a one-out double before the Astros loaded the bases. Carlos Correa put Houston on the board with a sacrifice fly, then Yuli Gurriel put Houston ahead 2-1 at the time with an RBI-single but was thrown out trying to advance to second, ending in the inning.

With Verlander's night done after seven innings, Ryan Pressly was first out of Houston's bullpen to throw the bottom of the eighth inning. He worked around a two-out walk, sending the tied game to the ninth. Houston came up empty in the top of the inning, resulting in Roberto Osuna coming in for the bottom half to try and send the game to extra innings. Osuna did his job, retiring the A's in order, giving the Astros another chance to win the game.

3) Houston loses in extras

Despite getting two runners on, the Astros were unable to score in the top half of the tenth. Will Harris gave them another chance, getting a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to push the game one inning further. The two teams would come up with another scoreless inning in the eleventh, with the middle of Houston's order unable to get anything going then Joe Smith shutting down Oakland in the bottom half.

In the twelfth inning, the Astros were again retired in order in the top of the inning while in the bottom half Hector Rondon allowed a leadoff double. Oakland was able to move the runner to third, but Rondon would get out of it and send the game to another inning.

While Houston was able to get some runners on base in the top of the thirteenth, they would again come away empty. Cy Sneed attempted to send the game to the fourteenth but instead allowed the walk-off hit to lose the game.

Up Next: The third game of this series will be on Saturday with a 3:05 PM Central start. The Astros will get a fill-in start from Rogelio Armenteros (1-0, 1.93 ERA) as Tuesday's doubleheader along with Gerrit Cole's injury has left a hole in Houston's rotation, while Oakland is expected to start Chris Bassitt (8-5, 3.56 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Yordan Alvarez's homer in Wednesday's game gave him 100 RBI on the season. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Winners of three straight, six of their last seven, and eight of their last ten, the Astros had the chance to move yet another game closer to clinching their playoff spot if they could secure the series with a win against the Angels on Wednesday. Even though it looked as though they were headed towards a loss in extra innings, they would ultimately come out ahead.

Final Score (12 innings): Astros 9, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 91-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yimi Garcia (4-9)

Losing Pitcher: Sam Selman (0-1)

Garcia goes six shutout innings

Although he didn't have swing-and-miss dominance in this start, Luis Garcia could still capitalize on a struggling Angels offense and post a shutout quality start against them. He allowed three walks and three hits throughout his outing but stranded all of them while getting outs on balls in play. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 79 P.

Alvarez reaches 100 RBI as Houston's offense keeps rolling

That performance had Garcia in line for the win, as two homers handed him a 3-0 advantage which he held. Houston once again used early offense to take a first-inning lead, as a leadoff walk by Jose Altuve turned into a monster 456-foot by Yordan Alvarez, pushing him to 100 RBI on the season. The score held at 2-0 until the top of the fifth, when Jason Castro led that frame off with a solo homer to extend the lead to three runs.

Extras in Anaheim

Phil Maton was first out of Houston's bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, but a single, double, and walk loaded the bases with no outs to put him in a jam. A lineout kept the runners put for the first out, but a single and a walk would make it a one-run game and left the bases loaded as Maton would get pulled.

Kendall Graveman entered to try and stop the bleeding, but after a force out at home to put that within reach, Jack Mayfield came through for Los Angeles with a go-ahead three-run double, giving the Angels their first lead of the series at 5-3. In the top of the eighth, a walk by Alex Bregman brought Alvarez back to the plate, and he would nearly miss a game-tying homer and instead got an RBI-single to make it 5-4.

Alvarez would still come in to tie the game, hustling home from second on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to knot things up 5-5. Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he sat down LA in order with two strikeouts. Still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly came in to force extras, and despite being shadowed by the winning run on the bases after a leadoff single, retired the next three batters to send the game to the tenth.

Astros keep battling and take it in the twelfth

Jake Meyers took second base as Houston's free runner in the top of the tenth, but he would go nowhere as the Astros went down in order, giving the Angels another chance at a walk-off. Instead of giving Shohei Ohtani a free pass immediately, Houston would let Blake Taylor throw two balls to him before giving him the intentional walk.

Taylor then gave up a single to load the bases with no outs, and after getting a force out at home for the first out, Yimi Garcia would replace him. Thanks to a great play by Chas McCormick, giving him multiple in the game, the Astros would live to see another inning as he would make a great catch in right field and then throw out Ohtani at home.

In the top of the eleventh, a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel moved Aledmys Diaz to third, but that's as close as Houston would come, leaving them stuck at five runs. After Garcia retired three more batters in the bottom of the eleventh, the game moved to the twelfth, where Houston would get back in front on an RBI single by Jake Meyers, then padded the new lead on a two-RBI double by Jose Altuve, who would also score on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it 9-5. Josh James came in and wrapped things up in the bottom half as Houston secured the series victory and reduced their magic number to two against Oakland and three against Seattle.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series, and the last time these two teams will meet this year, will be an 8:38 PM Central start on Thursday. The expected pitching matchup is Alex Cobb (8-3, 3.59 ERA) for Los Angeles and Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.11 ERA) for Houston.

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