Houston's offense went scoreless

Astros shutout by Mariners, preventing a four-game sweep

Houston's offense went scoreless Thursday afternoon. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After a thrilling comeback win on Wednesday night to grab the first three games of this series, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Thursday afternoon to try and put an exclamation point on an already successful homestand. A four-game sweep was not in the cards, however, as Houston's offense would go cold in the finale, ending the eight-game stretch of home matchups on a sour note.

Final Score: Mariners 1, Astros 0

Astros' Record: 13-12, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-3)

Garcia does well, but support never arrives

Luis Garcia had a relatively successful day on the mound, giving his team a chance by holding the Mariners to just one run over five innings. The run came on a solo home run by Taylor Trammell in the top of the third, putting Seattle in front 1-0. Unfortunately for Garcia, that would be the only run of the game, sending him to the loss. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 73 P.

Kikuchi takes a no-hitter into the seventh, Mariners complete the shutout

That's because Yusei Kikuchi was having an even better day. He would blank the Astros over seven innings, allowing just one hit, a double by Carlos Correa at the bottom of the seventh. After Garcia for Houston, the combination of Bryan Abreu, Brooks Raley, and Joe Smith finished off the final four innings, all scoreless.

Seattle's bullpen would finish the job for Kikuchi, getting two more scoreless innings while allowing just one hit, a single by Alex Bregman in the bottom of the ninth to finish Houston's day with just two knocks. The loss tumbles Houston down to fourth in the division standings, for now, as they head out on the road for the next six games over seven days.



Up Next: Houston will travel to Tampa Bay to start a three-game set with the Rays Friday at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 4.58 ERA) will head to the mound to try and help the Astros get back in the win column, while Ryan Yarbrough (1-2, 4.28 ERA) will be on the bump for the Rays.

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Kyle Tucker had a big day at the plate on Sunday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of the series, with one team or the other putting on a solid offensive performance in each, the Astros tried to win their fourth series in their last five by taking the rubber game on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Thanks in part to a big day from Kyle Tucker, who played a significant role in the early offense they used to power to the win, they would accomplish their mission.

Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 18-16, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Nate Pearson (0-1)

Kyle Tucker helps lead the offense to seven unanswered runs

Houston did not go easy on Nate Pearson in his 2021 debut. After a scoreless first, the Astros loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then brought the first run of the day home on an RBI walk by Michael Brantley. Another walk opened the door in the bottom of the third, and Kyle Tucker capitalized with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, followed by an RBI single by Robel Garcia to make it a three-run lead, ending Pearson's day one out into the bottom of the third.

Things didn't get easier for Toronto's pitching in the next inning, as Jose Altuve would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer. A single and a walk then set up another big hit for Kyle Tucker, a three-run dinger to make it seven unanswered runs and giving Tucker four RBI on the day.

Blue Jays pound Greinke in the fifth

After four shutout innings to start his day on the mound, working around a few hits along the way, Zack Greinke tried to cash in on his team's offense to get another win on his record. He wouldn't be able to get it done, though, as Toronto would get after him in the top of the fifth. They would score four times amongst five batters that came to the plate, with a solo homer by Rowdy Tellez, a two-RBI double by Bo Bichette, and an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

That made it a 7-4 game, and with Greinke still not having recorded an out in the frame, Dusty Baker would lift him at 88 pitches in favor of Bryan Abreu, who would get a pop out and a double play to end the inning and keep the lead at three runs. Greinke's final line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Houston takes the series

No more runs would come on either side the rest of the way, with Kent Emanuel working around a single for a scoreless sixth, Ryne Stanek getting a 1-2-3 seventh, and Andre Scrubb doing the same in the eighth to set up Ryan Pressly for the save. Pressly would get the job done, sending the Blue Jays down in order, including two strikeouts to wrap up the win and giving Houston the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will stay at home to continue this homestand, welcoming in the Angels for three games starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. The opener will feature a pitching matchup of Alex Cobb (1-2, 5.48 ERA) for Los Angeles and Luis Garcia (0-3, 3.28 ERA) for Houston.

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