Houston is now 22-23 on the year

Astros drop finale to A's and once again have a losing record

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With Oakland securing the series by winning three of the first four games of this five-game set, the Astros took the field Thursday afternoon in an attempt to salvage a game to grab a game back in the division standings. Here is a quick recap of the finale with the A's:

Final Score: A's 3, Astros 1.

Record: 22-23, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Sean Manaea (4-2, 4.46 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1, 3.72 ERA).

One pitch changes Urquidy's day

The early innings of Thursday's game flew by, with the Astros swinging early and often against Sean Manaea, while Jose Urquidy was blanking the A's on the other side. After three perfect frames, Urquidy did not allow a baserunner until the fourth, but he would work around two walks that inning to keep Oakland off the board.

He allowed his first hit to lead off the bottom of the fifth, a double that he worked around by retiring the next three batters to send the scoreless game to the sixth. He returned for the sixth to try and get through another inning, getting two quick outs before a two-out walk. That would prove costly as Matt Olson would launch a two-run go-ahead home run in the next at-bat to give Oakland a 2-1 lead. He would get the final out of that inning, bringing an end to his day. His final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Manaea limits Houston's bats

Meanwhile, Sean Manaea was handling the Astros relatively easily. After retiring the first fifteen Astros in order, Josh Reddick would finally give Houston their first baserunner in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double. He moved to third on a single, then scored on a double play, but that one run would be all the Astros could get against him as he would finish seven innings on just 61 pitches, allowing just the one run.

After Urquidy, Andre Scrubb came in to try and keep it a 2-1 game in the bottom of the seventh, but again a walk would cost Houston. Scrubb walked the leadoff batter, who stole second, then scored on an RBI-single to make it 3-1 Oakland. Scrubb would issue a two-out walk, prompting another move to the bullpen, this time for Brad Peacock. Peacock would walk his first batter, loading the bases, but would get the third out of the inning.

Astros drop below .500 again

Brandon Bielak would make an appearance in relief for the bottom of the eighth. He was able to work around a one-out single and two-out double to keep it a two-run game heading to the ninth. The 3-1 score would go final as Oakland's bullpen would keep the Astros off the board. The loss put an end to the five-game series where the Astros went 1-4 against the division-leading A's and pushed Houston back below .500 at 22-23. They have won just one time in their last nine games.

Up Next: The Astros will have one of their last two scheduled days off on Friday before starting a two-game series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Saturday. The first game will get underway at 7:07 PM Central on Saturday and features Framber Valdez (3-3, 3.61 ERA) pitching for the Astros against Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 0.76 ERA) for the Dodgers.

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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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