Houston stays hot

Astros wallop A's again in home opener

Houston's bats kept mashing in the home opener. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After starting their year with six games on the road, the Astros returned home for their home opener on Thursday night, against the A's, who they had faced for the first four games of the season in Oakland. They hoped to have a similar outcome, with Houston sweeping the series to start 4-0 and dropping one of their AL West rivals to a tough 0-4. Indeed they would, giving the home fans at Minute Maid Park a lot to cheer about in another lopsided win.

Final Score: Astros 6, A's 2

Astros' Record: 6-1, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Cole Irvin (0-2)

Javier goes five shutout innings

Doing much better than his first start of the year, Cristian Javier managed to pitch himself into position for the win in his second. He was electric in the first three innings, retiring the first eight batters he faced, five on strikeouts. He went on to allow just three hits, giving his team five scoreless innings. Javier's final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 88 P.

Houston's high-power offense stays hot

Much like their high-scoring games against the A's last weekend, Houston kept plating runs against Oakland in this one. The first two runs came off the bat of Carlos Correa, one on a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the second, the other a one-out RBI-double in the fourth.

They expanded their lead by three runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Yordan Alvarez getting his second homer of the year, a solo shot, then Myles Straw bringing in two more on a two-RBI single. Jose Altuve's first hit of the night was a loud one, a 426-foot solo homer to extend the lead to 6-0.

Astros get the lopsided win

After Javier's five innings, Ryne Stanek would take over and retire four batters in a row to get one out into the seventh. Blake Taylor finished that inning, then Enoli Paredes entered for the top of the eighth. Paredes would walk back-to-back batters before leaving mid-at-bat with an injury.

Joe Smith would make the quick entry, doing well to erase those two walks and keep the A's off the board to complete the top of the eighth. Brooks Raley had the ninth and finished off the win, despite allowing two runs to get Oakland on the board, to improve Houston to 6-1 on the year, sending Oakland to 1-7.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday. The Astros will send Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound for his second start, while Oakland will turn to Sean Manaea (0-1, 9.64 ERA), whom the Astros scored five runs on in the finale in Oakland.

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.

That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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