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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Houston can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

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