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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Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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