Houston is handed another tough loss

Urquidy exits early with injury as Orioles feast on struggling Astros bullpen

Astros' Jose Altuve
Houston's bullpen could not keep Baltimore off the scoreboard on Tuesday. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Houston's bullpen could not keep Baltimore off the scoreboard on Tuesday.

After a disappointing loss in the opener against the Orioles, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday to try and even the series and still get in line for a potential series win. Instead, after an early exit by Jose Urquidy, things went from bad to worse for Houston as their bullpen would watch Baltimore hand them a lopsided loss.

Final Score: Orioles 13, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 48-32, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Alexander Wells (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ralph Garza Jr. (0-2)

Urquidy exits early with an injury

In disappointing news for the Astros, their starter Jose Urquidy not only gave up a solo homer to start his night, but he would also get one out into the second before leaving with an apparent injury. Houston would turn to Andre Scrubb to make the emergency entrance from the bullpen, and he was able to finish the second and the third and fourth, all while keeping Baltimore to their one run. Houston was able to tie the game in the bottom of the second, getting a runner to third to set up a sac fly by Abraham Toro. They went on to load the bases with two outs but would leave all three runners stranded and the game tied 1-1.

Astros tie, Orioles jump back in front late

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever in the top of the fifth, and he would watch the Orioles jump back in front with a two-out two-RBI single to make it 3-1. The Astros responded with a two-run inning of their own in the bottom half, putting two on base to set up a two-RBI single for Toro to give him three on the night and tie the game.

Ralph Garza Jr. took over in the top of the sixth for Houston, retiring the side in order before continuing in the seventh. The Orioles would retake the lead against him the next inning, converting a leadoff single with a two-out RBI double. Ryne Stanek came in for the third out of that inning, then in the top of the eighth allowed a solo homer to make it a two-run game, then a bases-clearing double to make it 8-3.

Houston drops another to give Baltimore the series win

Blake Taylor came in to try and stop the bleeding, but he too would allow a run, making it 9-3 before it was all said and done. Houston then ceded to use a position player, Robel Garcia, in the top of the ninth, who allowed two two-out two-run homers to make it 13-3. That score would go final, in another disappointing loss where the Astros' pitching could not string together enough success to hold an opposing offense at bay.

Up Next: The series finale between the Astros and Orioles will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Wednesday. Houston will look to Luis Garcia (6-4, 2.83 ERA) to try and salvage a win in the series, while Baltimore will send Matt Harvey (3-9, 7.54 ERA) to the mound.

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Who's really calling the shots? Composite Getty Image.

Who is actually determining how much Jose Abreu is playing right now? Is it Joe Espada or is someone telling him from the top of the organization to play Abreu and not take him out of clutch moments?

Also, could Espada be sending a message to the front office by giving them a good look at how bad he is, and how much he's hurting the team with regular playing time?

ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham makes that case in the video above, but his radio partner Joel Blank isn't quite buying it.

Don't miss the video above for the full conversation!

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