Astros with another poor pitching performance

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-2 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston, having lost disappointingly in the series opener, were looking to rebound from the tough night prior with a good outing on Tuesday in the second game of four against the Angels. Here is the result of the game:

Final Score: Angels 7, Astros 2.

Record: 59-37, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Noe Ramirez (4-1, 3.21 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Hector Rondon (3-2, 4.79 ERA).

1) The opener closes out Houston's chances

Houston elected to have Hector Rondon serve as an "opener" to primary pitcher Rogelio Armenteros on Tuesday night, a decision that would, unfortunately, backfire and diminish their chances of winning the game. Rondon met the same night as Framber Valdez the night prior, throwing a complete disaster of an outing.

He would only be able to record two outs during which he allowed six demoralizing runs on five hits and one walk. That put the Astros in an insurmountable 6-0 hole and prompted an all-too-early call to the bullpen to bring in Chris Devenski to try and get out of the inning.

Devenski was able to get the last out of the first inning and returned to pitch the second inning as well. He would record twice as many outs as Rondon, without allowing a run and giving up just one hit.

2) Armenteros with a decent outing, offense unable to overcome the deficit

Once Armenteros was able to get into the game, he served his role well, eating up innings three through six. Over that stretch, he allowed just one unearned run after a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth. He would pitch four total innings, getting up to 71 pitches and allowing only two hits while striking out three.

Will Harris was next out of Houston's bullpen to take over in the bottom of the seventh, and he provided a scoreless inning to keep it at a 7-2 game at the time. Josh James closed out the pitching night for Houston with a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

The offense had their chances, getting plenty of runners on base throughout the game. Tyler White helped get them on the board with an RBI-single in the fourth, cutting the lead to 6-1. They would put the first two runners on in the top of the fifth, leading to White's second RBI-single in as many innings and making it a four-run game. That's as close as they would get, going on to strand 14 runners in the game.

3) Benches clear in the sixth after Marisnick is hit by pitch

With Marisnick not in the lineup on Monday, the Angels had their first chance of retaliation in Tuesday night's game and threw an attempted plunk at him in the top of the sixth. Whether intentional or a missed spot, the ball ended up shoulder high, hitting Marisnick nearly between the shoulder blades, prompting some contention in Houston's dugout.

Marisnick handled the situation well, not even looking back at the pitcher and going straight to first base. Even after Albert Pujols took offense with the statements coming out of the Astros' dugout, resulting in the benches clearing, Marisnick was trying to keep his teammates under control and avoid conflict. It ended up being a lot of show for nothing, as both teams would receive warnings and the game would resume without further incident.

Up Next: Houston will finally get one of their regular rotation pitchers back on the mound Wednesday night. The game will be another 9:07 PM start, and while the Angels do not yet have their starter picked, the Astros will send Gerrit Cole (9-5, 3.23 ERA) to the mound to try and distance Astros fans from the memory of the last two nights.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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