Houston's offense struggles in loss

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-1 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Astros were able to take game one of this series against the Orioles on Friday night, though it took eleven innings to pull off. Houston and Baltimore were right back at it on Saturday afternoon, and here's how the middle game of the series went:

Final Score: Orioles 4, Astros 1.

Record: 44-22, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Paul Fry (1-3, 3.29 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Will Harris (1-1, 1.54 ERA).

1) Reddick gets hit 1,000 in an mostly quiet offensive day

After being blanked through the first five innings, Houston finally threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning. Back-to-back singles put runners on the corners with no outs and a chance to erase a 1-0 deficit. They'd come away with just one run, getting an RBI from Yuli Gurriel on a sac fly to tie the game 1-1.

That would be the lone run the Astros would manage during the game, though Josh Reddick was able to notch a milestone with the 1,000th hit of his career with a single in the bottom of the second.

2) Valdez fills starter spot well 

Framber Valdez was terrific in his first start of 2019, filling the vacant spot in the rotation after Corbin Martin was optioned back to AAA after some rough starts. Valdez didn't allow a run until the sixth inning, a solo home run which broke the scoreless tie.

Besides that one hiccup, Valdez was electric and had a great day, recording efficient innings on his way to a seven-inning afternoon. His final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.

3) Orioles go-ahead in the eighth, add insurance in the ninth

Will Harris took over for Valdez in the top of the eighth but would deal with a lot of traffic. Baltimore started the inning with a single followed by a double to get runners on the corners with no outs. Bregman made a great heads-up play on a ground ball to catch the runner between third and home to save a run and keep it a tie game.

Harris was able to get another ground ball in the next at-bat which had double-play potential but instead an errant throw by Jack Mayfield after getting the out at second allowed the go-ahead run to score. Reymin Guduan pitched the top of the ninth, but after getting two strikeouts to start the inning allowed a walk then two-run home run to put the game out of reach.

Up Next: The Astros will wrap up this series with the Orioles with the rubber game tomorrow at 1:10 PM. Wade Miley (5-3, 3.39 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston looking win the series, while Baltimore is expected to start Dylan Bundy (3-6, 4.64 ERA).

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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