Houston's four-game streak is snapped

Astros held to one run as Angels salvage a game in series finale

Lance McCullers Jr. received his first road loss of the season on Sunday in the finale against the Angels. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Winners of their last four games, and having already secured the victory in this three-game series by winning the first two matchups, the Astros looked to keep their momentum going into Sunday's finale. Instead, the Angels grabbed momentum to hold Houston's offense at bay to salvage a win in the series.

Final Score: Angels 3, Astros 1

Astros' Record: 70-47, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Reid Detmers (1-2)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (9-4)

McCullers Jr. gets his first road loss of 2021

Lance McCullers Jr. dealt with some high-stress situations early in his start. He worked around a single in the first, but in the bottom of the second would load the bases on a single, walk, and hit batter. He got out of it in a big way, striking out MVP hopeful Shohei Ohtani to end the inning and get out of the jam.

After Michael Brantley gave him a lead with a solo homer in the top of the inning to go ahead 1-0, McCullers Jr. rebounded with a 1-2-3 third inning, then did the same in the fourth. LA would get on the board against him in the fifth, getting back-to-back one-out singles to get a runner to third to set up an RBI groundout to tie the game. They pressured him again in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff double and a one-out bunt single to set up another RBI groundout, this one to take a 2-1 lead and end McCullers Jr.'s day and send him on the way to his first road loss of the year. His final line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 108 P.

Houston drops the finale

After Ryne Stanek came in to get the final out of the sixth, Cristian Javier took over out of the bullpen in the 2-1 game in the bottom of the seventh. He got through that frame without trouble, but after returning in the bottom of the eighth, he would watch a one-out homer fly out to extend the Angels' lead to 3-1 before he finished the inning. That score would go final as Houston's offense would get held to just the lone run off of the bat of Brantley back in the third inning. The loss snapped Houston's four-game streak and prevented them from getting the series sweep as they head out to their next destination.

Up Next: With this series in the books, Houston will travel to Kansas City for the next part of this road trip. They'll kick off a four-game set with the Royals on Monday at 7:10 PM Central, with an anticipated pitching matchup of Jake Odorizzi (5-6, 4.59 ERA) for Houston and Carlos Hernandez (3-1, 4.11 ERA) for Kansas City.

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MLB Network released their list of the top 10 starting pitchers in baseball this week, and two names were suspiciously left off. Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier are nowhere to be found on the list. Apparently, dominating one of the best lineups in baseball on the biggest stage means nothing?

Be sure to check out the video above as Paul Gallant shares his thoughts on the rankings.

Listen to The Paul Gallant Show from 10am-12pm weekdays on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 FM!

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