Houston is on a rough losing streak
Astros trounced by Kershaw and Dodgers in series opener
After a disappointing series in Arlington, where they were swept over three games, the Astros returned to a full-capacity Minute Maid Park to start a new homestand. First up was a two-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who would get the better of Houston and Zack Greinke to take the opener.
Final Score: Dodgers 9, Astros 2
Astros' Record: 26-22, second in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw (7-3)
Losing Pitcher: Zack Greinke (4-2)
Greinke loses the exciting pitching battle with Kershaw
The game's first three innings lived up to the high expectation of a pitching matchup between Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. Both starters retired the opposing lineup in order the first time, leaving all zeroes on the scoreboard after three innings. A leadoff walk to Mookie Betts by Greinke in the top of the fourth proved costly, as Justin Turner would follow with the first hit of the game, a two-run homer to put the Dodgers in front 2-0.
Houston would get their first knock in the bottom of the inning but would otherwise continue to struggle against Kershaw while bringing no runs across. Greinke rebounded from the two-run fourth with a 1-2-3 fifth but would then unravel in the sixth. After two outs, he would load the bases on a single and two walks, then giving up a two-RBI single to Chris Taylor, extending LA's lead to 4-0. He would finish that inning but go no further. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 88 P.
Houston's bullpen struggles continue as Dodgers trounce the Astros
Joe Smith was the first reliever to take the mound and allowed a leadoff single, which would come around to score and make it a 5-0 game after another single and a wild pitch. Alex Bregman would finally get the Astros on the board and give Kershaw his first blemish of the day, launching a leadoff solo homer to start the bottom of the seventh.
After getting the last out of the seventh, Enoli Paredes continued on the mound in the top of the eighth, getting two outs while loading the bases on a single, a walk, and a hit batter, prompting a pitching change to bring in Kent Emanuel. Emanuel would face just one batter, allowing a four-pitch walk before his low velocity would prompt trainers out, ultimately removing him from the game. Andre Scrubb would enter quickly, but he too would struggle, issuing two more bases-loaded walks to make it 8-1 before getting the third out to end the suffering.
Scrubb returned to try and eat up the top of the ninth but would again struggle, loading the bases on two walks and a single before allowing another run to make it 9-1 before getting out of it. Houston would salvage a run in the bottom of the ninth on an error, but it would make no difference as the Astros would lose their fourth straight game.
Up Next: The second game of this quick two-game set will be slightly earlier on Wednesday, with a start time of 6:40 PM Central. Luis Garcia (2-3, 3.38 ERA) will start for the Astros, while Trevor Bauer (5-2, 1.98 ERA) will go for the Dodgers.