Astros are now 15-11

Astros drop series opener to Padres, snap winning streak

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

After taking care of business against the Rockies with a four-game sweep, the Astros started a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego on Friday. Both teams entered the weekend on winning streaks, with the Padres having won four straight and the Astros eight. Here is what happened when these two surging teams faced off:

Final Score: Padres 4, Astros 3.

Record: 15-11, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Javy Guerra (1-0, 11.17 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (2-2, 5.74 ERA).

Padres outscore Astros early

Houston wasted no time stringing some hits together, starting at the very beginning of the game. George Springer led things off with a double, followed by back-to-back singles by Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to score Springer and take an early 1-0 lead. San Diego responded immediately, though, getting a double and an RBI-single with two outs to quickly tie the game 1-1.

After scoring in the first, the Astros loaded the bases, then did again in the second, but stranded all three runners both times, leaving six on base after two innings, wasting a chance to put up multiple runs early. That would allow the Padres to get a go-ahead in the fourth against Lance McCullers Jr., getting two on base on a walk and hit-by-pitch before a sac bunt would advance the runners, then a sacrifice fly would bring a run in, making it 2-1 Padres.

McCullers Jr. would allow a few more runs to San Diego; walking the leadoff batter in the fourth which would eventually score on a sacrifice fly later in the inning to make it 3-1, then giving up a leadoff double in the fifth before back-to-back RBI hits with two outs to make it 4-1. His final line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR.

Houston claws back, but Padres come out ahead

In the top of the sixth, Houston chipped away at San Diego's lead, getting back-to-back doubles by Taylor Jones and Myles Straw to bring in a run to make it 4-2. In the top of the seventh, Jose Altuve led off with a single, moved to second on a bad throw on the same play, moved to third on a groundout, then scored on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to make it a one-run game at 4-3.

Cy Sneed and Cionel Perez combined for a scoreless bottom of the sixth, followed by Andre Scrubb, who worked around a leadoff walk and two-out single for a scoreless frame of his own. The 4-3 score would be as close as the Astros would come as they would go down scoreless in the top of the eighth and the top of the ninth, snapping their eight-game winning streak and dropping the first game of this three-game series.

Up Next: The middle game of this series between Houston and San Diego will get underway at 8:10 PM on Saturday. The pitching matchup will be Zach Davies (3-2, 3.25 ERA) for the Padres going opposite Brandon Bielak (3-0, 1.69 ERA) for the Astros.

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Yordan Alvarez's homer in Wednesday's game gave him 100 RBI on the season. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Winners of three straight, six of their last seven, and eight of their last ten, the Astros had the chance to move yet another game closer to clinching their playoff spot if they could secure the series with a win against the Angels on Wednesday. Even though it looked as though they were headed towards a loss in extra innings, they would ultimately come out ahead.

Final Score (12 innings): Astros 9, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 91-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yimi Garcia (4-9)

Losing Pitcher: Sam Selman (0-1)

Garcia goes six shutout innings

Although he didn't have swing-and-miss dominance in this start, Luis Garcia could still capitalize on a struggling Angels offense and post a shutout quality start against them. He allowed three walks and three hits throughout his outing but stranded all of them while getting outs on balls in play. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 79 P.

Alvarez reaches 100 RBI as Houston's offense keeps rolling

That performance had Garcia in line for the win, as two homers handed him a 3-0 advantage which he held. Houston once again used early offense to take a first-inning lead, as a leadoff walk by Jose Altuve turned into a monster 456-foot by Yordan Alvarez, pushing him to 100 RBI on the season. The score held at 2-0 until the top of the fifth, when Jason Castro led that frame off with a solo homer to extend the lead to three runs.

Extras in Anaheim

Phil Maton was first out of Houston's bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, but a single, double, and walk loaded the bases with no outs to put him in a jam. A lineout kept the runners put for the first out, but a single and a walk would make it a one-run game and left the bases loaded as Maton would get pulled.

Kendall Graveman entered to try and stop the bleeding, but after a force out at home to put that within reach, Jack Mayfield came through for Los Angeles with a go-ahead three-run double, giving the Angels their first lead of the series at 5-3. In the top of the eighth, a walk by Alex Bregman brought Alvarez back to the plate, and he would nearly miss a game-tying homer and instead got an RBI-single to make it 5-4.

Alvarez would still come in to tie the game, hustling home from second on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to knot things up 5-5. Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he sat down LA in order with two strikeouts. Still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly came in to force extras, and despite being shadowed by the winning run on the bases after a leadoff single, retired the next three batters to send the game to the tenth.

Astros keep battling and take it in the twelfth

Jake Meyers took second base as Houston's free runner in the top of the tenth, but he would go nowhere as the Astros went down in order, giving the Angels another chance at a walk-off. Instead of giving Shohei Ohtani a free pass immediately, Houston would let Blake Taylor throw two balls to him before giving him the intentional walk.

Taylor then gave up a single to load the bases with no outs, and after getting a force out at home for the first out, Yimi Garcia would replace him. Thanks to a great play by Chas McCormick, giving him multiple in the game, the Astros would live to see another inning as he would make a great catch in right field and then throw out Ohtani at home.

In the top of the eleventh, a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel moved Aledmys Diaz to third, but that's as close as Houston would come, leaving them stuck at five runs. After Garcia retired three more batters in the bottom of the eleventh, the game moved to the twelfth, where Houston would get back in front on an RBI single by Jake Meyers, then padded the new lead on a two-RBI double by Jose Altuve, who would also score on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it 9-5. Josh James came in and wrapped things up in the bottom half as Houston secured the series victory and reduced their magic number to two against Oakland and three against Seattle.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series, and the last time these two teams will meet this year, will be an 8:38 PM Central start on Thursday. The expected pitching matchup is Alex Cobb (8-3, 3.59 ERA) for Los Angeles and Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.11 ERA) for Houston.

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