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 scored in droves

Astros drub Twins in finale to take series win

Houston's offense showered Minnesota with hits in Sunday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games, with Houston's offense uncharacteristically ineffective in the loss on Saturday, they tried to turn things around with a win to take the series on Sunday. The Astros would bounce right back at the plate, getting hits and runs all through the afternoon to rout the Twins.

Final Score: Astros 14, Twins 3

Astros' Record: 37-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-4)

Valdez keeps rolling

Framber Valdez continued to impress in 2021 after starting his season on the IL, posting another quality start with a win against the Twins. After four scoreless frames, he allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fifth, just the third hit of the game for Minnesota to that point. He went on to retire the next three batters to get through the inning.

He faltered a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double followed by a single, with a run coming across on an error on that play. He once again rebounded to finish that frame, then put up a 1-2-3 seventh to finish his day off, notching another quality start and a win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 97 P.

Houston keeps their foot on the gas

While Valdez's outing was a highlight of its own, Houston's offense was the story of the day. They put their foot down on the pedal all day and did not let up, starting in the top of the first when Jose Altuve turned the first pitch of the game around for a single, later scoring on a sac fly by Alex Bregman to put the Astros in front 1-0.

After two scoreless innings, they got right back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker, then kept pouring it on with two runs in the fifth on a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel and an error, making it 5-0 at the time. The runs kept coming in the top of the sixth, with a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, who would score later on a two-run bomb by Yordan Alvarez. Then, in the top of the seventh, Brantley struck again to push it to double-digits with a two-RBI single to make it 11-2 and give Brantley 4 RBI on the afternoon.

With Houston swapping out starters with the hefty lead, even their pinch-hitters were getting involved, with Chas McCormick leading the top of the eighth off with a solo shot to make it a ten-run game. They then loaded the bases with no outs, setting up a sac fly for Myles Straw to make it 13-2.

Astros take the series

In the bottom of the eighth, Ralph Garza Jr. came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Houston. He recorded two quick outs but then met Nelson Cruz, who lasered a solo homer to put it back at a ten-run game before finishing the frame. Houston put their twentieth hit on the board in the top of the ninth, their highest total this season, en route to another scoring inning with a sac fly by Robel Garcia to make it 14-3. Garza came in for his second inning of work to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Astros a successful end to this series and road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel home before an off day on Monday to rest before 20 days of consecutive games. They'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, welcoming in the Rangers for two starting at 7:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the IL for the Astros, though Jake Odorizzi will "piggy-back" him, and Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.13 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.

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