Houston's offense comes up empty

Astros stymied at the plate again as Mariners get shutout win to take series

Jake Odorizzi cruised through the first five innings against the Mariners before his day ended in the sixth on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a shutout loss in the middle game on Tuesday night, with the decisive blow coming from their former teammate on a grand slam, the Astros tried to rebound with a stronger performance on Wednesday to take the rubber game and get the series victory. It would end up being nearly the same result, though, as they'd get held scoreless, and Seattle would get the winning run off the bat of Abraham Toro.

Final Score: Mariners 1, Astros 0

Astros' Record: 78-55, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Justus Sheffield (6-8)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (6-7)

Toro breaks a scoreless tie again

As in the game the night prior, both teams remained scoreless through much of Wednesday's finale. Seattle's starter, Logan Gilbert, kept the Astros' offense at bay by limiting them to four hits over five innings of work. Jake Odorizzi looked as though he would last longer, allowing just three baserunners through the first five innings on just one hit, a walk, and a hit by pitch.

He returned in the bottom of the sixth, but after allowing a leadoff single followed by a walk, he would hand the ball to Dusty Baker, who called in Phil Maton. Maton would get one out before loading the bases on a walk, bringing up Abraham Toro, who hit a sac fly to get the Mariners on the board, the first run of the day to make it 1-0. Maton would get out of the inning without allowing any more damage, finalizing Odorizzi's line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 87 P.

Astros shut out again as Mariners take the series

Yimi Garcia was next out of Houston's bullpen, coming in for the bottom of the seventh, and faced three batters, recording two outs while allowing a single. Blake Taylor entered to get the final out of the inning to move the game on to the top of the eighth. Houston had a chance, getting the tying run to second base, but would get turned away again as Seattle held on to their 1-0 lead.

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever, and he worked around a walk to post a scoreless inning, bringing up Houston's last chance to tie or go in front in the top of the ninth. They again put the tying run in scoring position, getting back-to-back one-out singles, but would strand it there as the Mariners would shut them out again to take the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to San Diego before a day off on Thursday. On Friday, they'll pick up the last leg of this road trip, a three-game set with the Padres starting at 9:10 PM Central. Jose Urquidy (6-3, 3.38 ERA) will make his return from the IL for Houston, while San Diego's starter has not yet been announced.

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1. Davis Mills had an up-and-down day under center Friday. One play saw Mills drop back and try to get rid of the ball as Jonathan Greenard was rushing him only to have Greenard leap up and intercept Mills for what would have been an interception returned for a score.

2. A few plays later Davis Mills showcased his short memory. Mills surveyed the field, looked off the safety, and pitched a strike to Brevin Jordan over the middle, wide open, for a touchdown.

3. Davis Mills doesn’t stack bad plays. It is rare to see multiple bad plays happen in a row and Mills be the cause, or a cause, of the play not working. When he misses something, he usually makes up for it the next play.

4. It was a makeshift offensive line on Friday. Max Scharping played a lot at left guard. Charlie Heck saw some snaps at left tackle while Laremy Tunsil took a breather. Veteran lineman Cedric Ogbuehi played some at right tackle. There was plenty of work emphasized on the rushing attack Friday. The offensive line was fine, nothing special. I would say slight edge to the defense overall.

5. Rookie Kenyon Green didn’t practice. Right tackle Tytus Howard didn’t practice either. Pro Football Network is reporting Tytus Howard is out with a positive Covid test. Kenyon Green was banged up last practice, but Lovie Smith expects both back in the coming days.

6.The offensive line had its hands full with the defensive line today. Jonathan Greenard made the above-mentioned play of the practice with an interception. It felt constantly like there was some level of success from the defensive line. Not to say they dominated, but I would think the defense is happy with their day.

7. Maliek Collins has been a nice player in camp. He looks a bit quicker than last year. Collins downplayed how many “close” plays he had last year citing that everyone knows the saying “close but no cigar.” I asked him if he expected a lot of cigars this year. He chuckled and said yes. Teammate Roy Lopez gushed about what he believes Collins can be for this team and called his teammate one of the best defensive tackles in the league.

8. I almost wonder if quiet Derek Stingley days are good days. Stingley wasn’t involved in a lot of plays, but I know Davis Mills saw him on Friday. Mills dropped back on one play and made a read to his left seeing Chris Moore. Stingley darted from coverage towards Moore causing Mills to move off Moore and head to Nico Collins for a score. Yes, the defense allowed a touchdown, but Stingley did his job.

9. Rookie safety Jalen Pitre is a “starting” safety for the team according to Lovie Smith. Pitre had an interception, depending on who you ask, in practice. It is clear the Texans trust him and have put a lot on his plate. I would expect to see a lot of the rookie safety, good or bad, this season.

10. Lovie Smith praised the team’s depth at linebacker earlier in camp. I scoffed a little at the notion, but there seems to be a new linebacker making a play each day. Christian Kirksey had a nice stop in the run game today. Kevin Pierre-Louis, who played very little last year, has flashed. There’s some depth here, despite my skepticism.

11. Ka'imi Fairbairn doesn’t have a challenger in camp this year. I believed this offseason should have seen at the very least someone to challenge the kicker heading into his seventh year in the league. He’s been solid in camp so far, but there have been some misses. It is tough to judge distance, but the team clearly has faith in him with no challenger in sight.

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