Houston's offense struggled again

Astros drop third straight as Oakland gets walk-off to secure the series

Houston's offense managed just one run on Saturday as Oakland handed them another loss. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

With a loss to start this series to give them back-to-back losses, the Astros sought to turn the tide and get back in the win column and even up the series in Oakland on Saturday. After remaining scoreless much of the game, the A's would score the game's final two runs to win it.

Final Score: A's 2, Astros 1

Astros' Record: 91-64, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Andrew Chafin (2-3)

Losing Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (5-3)

Pitcher's duel in Oakland

Neither offense could crack the opposing starter for most of Saturday's middle game of the series. The teams had just one hit each through the first five innings, a leadoff double by Jose Altuve off of Sean Manaea to start the game in the first, and a one-out single by Elvis Andrus off of Framber Valdez in the bottom of the third. Valdez would issue a few walks along the way and allowed another hit in the sixth but would keep things under control as the game remained scoreless.

Teams trade runs in the seventh

Kyle Tucker would provide Valdez with a run of support in the top of the seventh, getting a solo homer to score the first run of the day and putting Houston in front 1-0 against Manaea. Houston's starter came back out for the seventh, but after a one-out single and two-out hit-by-pitch, he would get lifted as Dusty Baker would bring in Kendall Graveman to try and protect the one-run lead. A bloop single to Graveman's first batter would tie the game and charge a run to Valdez to blemish his final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 95 P.

Astros get walked off to drop third straight

After Houston's offense went down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, Graveman returned to the mound in the bottom half. He had an up-and-down inning, loading the bases on a leadoff walk, one-out single, followed by a walk, but escaped with a strikeout and groundout to end the inning and keep the game tied 1-1.

In what feels like a common occurrence of late, Ryan Pressly was on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, looking to force extra innings. He wouldn't get it done this time, allowing a leadoff single, which would score on a walk-off double to hand the Astros their third straight loss and allow Oakland to lock up the series victory.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set in Oakland, and Houston's last road game of the 2021 regular season, will start at 3:07 PM Central on Sunday. Paul Blackburn (1-3, 5.17 ERA) is set to start for Oakland, while Jake Odorizzi (6-7, 4.22 ERA) will make his return from the IL.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM

The Houston Astros haven't counted on their catchers to deliver much offensive production in recent years, with defensive specialist Martin Maldonado being their primary catcher for the last few seasons. But top hitting prospect Yainer Diaz is making a case to get more playing time behind the plate and at first, based on his ability to swing the bat.

Until recently, he hasn't been able to get any meaningful playing time. Even David Hensley, who was optioned to Sugar Land a few weeks ago, has more plate appearances than Diaz this season.

So how does manager Dusty Baker find more opportunities for Diaz? Should he use him more often as a DH, along with getting time at first base and catcher?

And what does that mean for Jose Abreu, Martin Maldonado, and to a lesser extent, former first round pick and Sugar Land Space Cowboy catcher, Korey Lee?

Plus, considering how good the Astros outfielders have been this year, does the team need to grab another bat before the trade deadline?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

Subscribe to SportsMapHouston on YouTube if you enjoy the videos.

Listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome