Houston is now 10-11

Astros back below .500 as Angels use late runs to avoid series sweep

Lance McCullers Jr. tossed a quality start Sunday. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Having worked their way back to .500 on the season by taking the first three games of this four-game series against Los Angeles, the Astros hoped to keep their momentum alive to make it a series sweep and improve to a winning record. The Angels would get some late runs to avoid the sweep, though, and flip-flopping positions in the division as the Astros fall back to a losing record and to fourth in the division:

Final Score: Angels 4, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 10-11, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Chris Rodriguez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-2)

McCullers Jr. works around a tough fifth to get a quality start

Pitching on extended rest due to missing his last start with vaccine-related illness, Lance McCullers Jr. had a good outing despite one tough inning. After a 22-pitch first, he would settle in to retire ten in a row to start the fifth inning at 55 pitches and no runs allowed.

He lost momentum in the fifth, though, starting by hitting Albert Pujols with a pitch before loading the bases on a single and a walk. That would set up a bad-luck two-out two-RBI single that bounced up the first-base line and bounced up off the bag and out of the reach of Yuli Gurriel to extend the inning and give the Angels a 2-0 lead. Still, McCullers Jr. would finish that inning before returning for a scoreless sixth, completing a quality start: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 106 P.

Gurriel ties it in the seventh

Houston, who exploded for sixteen runs on Saturday, did not repeat that success against Dylan Bundy on Sunday through the first six innings. Over that span, they managed just two hits while getting just two runners to second base. Yuli Gurriel would finally get to Bundy, taking advantage of a hit-by-pitch to Yordan Alvarez in the at-bat prior by launching a two-run homer to tie the game and chase Bundy out of the game.

Angels pull ahead late to avoid the sweep

Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and erased a one-out double to get through a scoreless top of the seventh. In the eighth, he would give up a 440-foot go-ahead solo homer to Shohei Ohtani, putting the Angels back in front 3-2. He would go two more outs while hitting a batter before Brooks Raley would enter to get the third out.

After a 1-2-3 inning at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, Raley remained in the game in the top of the ninth to try and keep it a one-run game. Instead, a double then RBI single with one out would extend Los Angeles' lead to 4-2 before he would finish the inning. Houston would come up empty in the bottom of the ninth, coming a game short of the sweep and falling back to fourth place in the division and one game below .500.

Up Next: The second half of this eight-game homestand will start Monday night as the Astros welcome in the Mariners for a four-game series at 7:10 PM Central. Jose Urquidy (0-2, 5.14 ERA) will kick off the series for Houston, while Justus Sheffield (1-1, 4.86 ERA) will be on the mound for Seattle.

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Upton and Verlander are headed to the Big Apple. Photo by Elsa/ Getty Images.

News erupted on a relatively quiet Monday, December 5 that Houston Astros superstar ace and Cy Young Award-winnerJustin Verlander inked a deal with the New York Mets.

According to the New York Post, Verlander, a free agent, agreed to a two-year, $86 million deal with the Mets, with a vesting, third-year option for $35 million. While that's huge news in the world of pro baseball, Verlander's superstar model wife Kate Upton has been also trending on Twitter.

No surprise there, as cover girl and fashion influencer Upton boasts more than 6 million followers on Instagram alone and one of the most followed models on the globe. But it's not a cover shot or sizzling bikini pic making the rounds, but rather, a video of the supermodel shooting the bird to Philadelphia Phillies fans.

Upton, an oft-smiling mom and wife, had no problem backing down from Philly Fan with a double-barreled, middle finger salute. While the audio is hard to decipher, we're guessing Upton didn't edit her smack talk in the dubious City of Brotherly Love.

Plenty of local talk (if one is interested in that sort of thing) points to the Mets being the team for "real" NYC baseball fans, while Yankees fans are said to be band-wagoning, late to games, and full of corporate partners. It's also good optics that Verlander didn't bolt for the team that the Astros dispatched in a four-game sweep on the way to their second World Series title.

Houston fans will no doubt miss Upton, who wed Verlander, gave birth to darling daughter Genevieve, and essentially broke the internet when she donned a retro Astros jacket — making it an instant sellout — all while here in the Bayou City. As transplants from there regularly point out, Houston is notoriously friendlier than the Big Apple.

But, something tells Upton, who has proven that she's not afraid to go publicly potty-mouthed in defense of JV, will have zero problem handling any mouthy NYC fans.

Upton clearly gives zero bleeps when defending her man. Kate Upton/Twitter

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