Tough loss for Houston

Astros force extras before Rangers walk it off in series opener

Tyler Ivey made his MLB debut Friday night. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

After starting this road trip with a 2-1 series win over the Oakland A's to regain the lead in the AL West, Houston returned to Texas to face another division opponent: the Rangers at Globe Life Field. After trailing most of the game, the Astros would tie the game late, forcing extra innings, but the Rangers would pull out the win in the tenth to hand Houston the loss.

Final Score (10 innings): Rangers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 26-19, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Taylor Hearn (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (2-3)

Tyler Ivey makes his debut

Making his major-league debut close to his hometown of Rowlett, Texas, Tyler Ivey tried to make it a memorable first start. While it wasn't an incredibly impressive outing, he could still provide his team some innings, though allowed a few runs. The first came on a solo home run by Brock Holt in the bottom of the third, then two more came in the bottom of the fourth on a two-RBI double by Adolis Garcia, bringing in two runners that reached on a walk and a single.

He returned in the bottom of the fifth, allowing a leadoff single before getting his last two outs as Dusty Baker would go to his bullpen to bring in Kent Emanuel to face some Texas lefties. Emanuel would allow an RBI single to his first batter, with the run charged to Ivey, making his debut line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 79 P.

Houston's offense starts slow before clawing back into it

Houston managed to bring in just one run over that span, getting runners on base to set up an RBI fielder's choice by Aledmys Diaz in the top of the second. Still down 4-1 in the top of the seventh, the Astros wasted a golden opportunity, getting the bases loaded against Texas' bullpen with Kyle Gibson finally out of the game but stranded all three runners.

After Emanuel finished the fifth, he returned for one out in the sixth before Joe Smith would finish that frame. Brandon Bielak was next out of the bullpen, tossing a scoreless bottom of the seventh. Houston clawed back into it in the top of the eighth, getting RBI hits from Carlos Correa and Jason Castro to get back within a run at 4-3. Jose Altuve then tied the game, getting an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to fifteen games and knot things up 4-4.

Astros go ahead, but Rangers walk it off

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a tie game in the bottom of the eighth. He did his job, retiring three batters on nine pitches to send things to the ninth. After getting two on base in the top of the inning but coming away empty, the Astros brought in Ryan Pressly in the bottom of the ninth to try and force extra innings, which he would do. Carlos Correa began the top of the tenth on second base as the free runner, and with one out, would score from there on a groundball turned error, putting Houston one run ahead and leaving runners on the corners.

They would strand those two runners and brought in Bryan Abreu in the bottom of the inning to try and finish things off. After a sac fly moved the free runner to third, Abreu would get a strikeout for the second out. A two-out walk brought Garcia to the plate for Texas, who would hit a walk-off three-run homer, handing Houston a loss to start this series.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will be a 3:05 PM Central start on Saturday. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.70 ERA) will look to get his sixth quality start in a row for the Astros, while the Rangers will send Jordan Lyles (2-3, 5.93 ERA) to the mound.

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Luis Garcia played his part in a pitcher's duel with Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With an impressive offensive onslaught to overpower Chicago in game one of this series, the Astros entered this second of four games hoping to keep their momentum going. After an impressive pitcher's duel left the game tied late into the game, Houston would edge out the win with a big walk-off in the ninth.

Final Score: Astros 2, White Sox 1

Astros' Record: 41-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Crochet (2-3)

Garcia matches Rodon in a pitcher's duel

Both starting pitchers were very effective, save one inning, in their respective seven innings of work. For Luis Garcia, he had his struggles in the top of the first to start the game, allowing a one-out double and single to put runners on second and third, setting up an RBI single to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

He limited the damage to that one run, both in that inning and the rest of his night, as he would follow that with six straight scoreless frames. Once he found his groove in the fourth, he would retire 12 of 13 batters he faced over that span to get through seven one-run innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

For Houston, it took until one out into the fifth inning to get a hit and their first baserunner against Carlos Rodon. That sparked an opportunity to grab a lead, as they would go on to load the bases still with one out but would get just one run out of it with a two-out RBI walk by Martin Maldonado to tie the game up 1-1.

Astros walk it off in the ninth

Ryne Stanek was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, erasing a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to keep things gridlocked. Still in a stalemate in the top of the ninth, the Astros opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly to try and keep it tied to set up a potential walk-off. He was perfect, striking out Chicago 1-2-3 to send it to the home half.

In the bottom of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel got the winning run on base by hitting a one-out single. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who got the walk-off hit, roping a ball into the right-field corner deep enough for Gurriel to hustle from first to home to win it for Houston, 2-1.

Up Next: Now having won five in a row, the Astros will try to lock up this series in game three of four on Saturday at 6:15 PM Central. Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51 ERA) will try to get a win for the White Sox, while Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his 2021 success for Houston.

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