Houston ends their losing streak

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 4-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With their string of bad luck and unexpectedly bad baseball continuing throughout the week and adding up to a five-game losing streak, the Astros were likely desperate to right the ship and avoid a four-game series sweep with a win on Sunday. Here is a quick recap of the finale with the A's:

Final Score: Astros 4, A's 1.

Record: 79-46, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (13-4, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.06 ERA).

1) Great start for Greinke, gets win number 200

Zack Greinke got out to a hot start on Sunday afternoon, getting through the first three innings perfectly by retiring all nine batters in order and doing so with a very low pitch count. The A's struck first though, getting their first hit with a leadoff solo home run to start the bottom of the fourth inning and go up 1-0.

Greinke struggled a little more in that inning, allowing a walk and a single to give Oakland a chance to extend their lead, but he was able to strand them and get out of the inning. He would go on to hold Oakland scoreless over the next three innings, completing seven innings while allowing just one run en route to another win.

His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR. The win was number 200 for Greinke's career, moving him up another spot in the all-time win leaders list.

2) Bregman breaks Houston out of the slump

After wasting multiple chances early in the game, resulting in five stranded runners through the first four innings, the Astros were able to finally break through in the fifth. Back-to-back singles to start the inning gave Houston a couple of baserunners, with a groundout for the first out moving Josh Reddick to third.

Instead of tying the game on a sacrifice fly, the second out was a ball to shallow to allow Reddick to tag home. That brought Alex Bregman to the plate, and he was able to get Houston their first runs of the day with a two-out three-run home run to put the Astros in front 3-1.

After a leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the sixth, Yuli Gurriel would extend Houston's lead to 4-1 with an RBI-double into the left-field corner. With Greinke's day done after seven terrific innings, Houston went to their bullpen starting in the eighth with Ryan Pressly who kept the three-run lead by tossing a scoreless inning. Roberto Osuna took over in the ninth and earned the save by finishing off the win to end Houston's losing streak.

Up Next: The Astros will be flying back to Houston on Sunday before kicking off a ten-game homestand with a four-game series with the Tigers starting on Monday night. The opening pitching matchup is expected to be Wade Miley (11-4, 3.11 ERA) for Houston going against Edwin Jackson (3-5, 8.62 ERA) for Detroit.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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