Astros' losing streak extended to five games

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 10-6 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Riding a four-game losing streak into New York, the Astros were hoping to snap out of their funk and have a more typical game hopefully ending in a win. That would be a tall task against the strong Yankees in the first of four games over this weekend. Here's a recap:

Final Score: Yankees 10, Astros 6.

Record: 48-28, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nestor Cortes Jr. (2-0, 4.09 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-3, 3.61 ERA).

1) Framber fumbles the fourth

After looking sharp through the first three innings, Framber Valdez struggled in the bottom of the fourth, allowing a solo home run to start the inning, putting the next two on base, then allowing a three-run homer to blow the game open. He'd get just one out into the frame before A.J. Hinch made the call to the bullpen. Valdez's final line: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR.

The reason he'd end up with five earned runs was the result of Chris Devenski coming out in relief and allowing a two-run home run, one of those belonging to Valdez. That gave New York a 6-0 lead, and after a brief rain delay, Devenski would finish the inning.

2) Astros get some runs of their own

Houston was able to trim the six-run lead at the time to four runs on back-to-back solo home runs by Jake Marisnick and Alex Bregman to make it a 6-2 game in the top of the fifth. After New York added two runs to put their lead back at six, Yordan Alvarez delivered a solo home run to trim the lead again to 8-3 in the top of the sixth.

They would threaten to trim the lead further later in the game, but would come up short on an RBI-single from Josh Reddick to make it 10-4, then two runs in the top of the ninth, one on Marisnick's second home run of the night to make it 10-5 then an RBI-double by Alvarez to make it 10-6.

3) Long bullpen night

Josh James was next out of the bullpen for the fifth inning with Houston hoping he could provide a lengthy appearance to save some of the other relievers from having to get extended in the first game of the series. Instead, James would struggle to complete just one inning, allowing a two-RBI double to make it an 8-2 Yankees lead.

Hector Rondon pitched the bottom of the sixth, striking out the side in order. Rogelio Armenteros was next out of the bullpen but would make a mistake to newly acquired Edwin Encarnacion who blasted a two-run home run to make it a 10-3 game. Armenteros would get through that inning and also work around loading the bases in the bottom of the eighth to complete that inning as well.

Up Next: The weekend series will continue tomorrow with first pitch of the second of four games at 6:05 PM. The expected pitching matchup is Brad Peacock (6-4, 3.67 ERA) for the Astros going against James Paxton (4-3, 3.93 ERA) for the Yankees.

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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