Houston loses the series

Padres get walk-off homer to take series from Astros

The Astros tied the game late but the Padres still came out in frond on Sunday. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After being handed a lopsided loss in the middle game on Saturday to even up the series, the Astros tried to shrug it off and get the series victory with a win on Sunday. After battling back to tie the game late, the Padres would get the final blow to take the series.

Final Score: Padres 4, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 79-57, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Mark Melancon (4-2)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (1-4)

Garcia rebounds from a rough first inning

With most of the offense the night prior belonging to San Diego, the Astros set off on a better foot on Sunday, getting a leadoff ground-rule double by Jose Altuve to get in position for an RBI single by Alex Bregman to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. The Padres matched that and more in the bottom half against Luis Garcia.

Garcia allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, followed by a one-out single and walk to load the bases. A sac fly brought in one run to tie things up, then a two-out two-RBI double put San Diego in front 3-1. He rebounded nicely from that rough first inning, preventing any more damage into the sixth inning, where he would get two outs and allow a single before Dusty Baker moved on to the bullpen. Garcia's final line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 80 P.

Astros drop the series as Padres get walk-off homer

Down two runs in the top of the seventh, the Astros launched back-to-back jacks by Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa, both solo homers, to tie the game 3-3. Blake Taylor was Houston's next reliever, and with a double play, he was able to face the minimum in the bottom of the seventh.

Kendall Graveman maintained the tie in the bottom of the eighth, erasing a leadoff single for a scoreless inning. In the top of the ninth, Houston had a chance to go back in front, working back-to-back walks to start the inning, but would come away empty after a double play and strikeout. Ryne Stanek entered to try and force extra innings in the bottom of the ninth but instead would watch Jake Cronenworth blast the walk-off solo homer to win it for the Padres, handing the Astros the series loss.

Up Next: With this road trip complete, the Astros return to pick up a series with the Mariners at 6:10 PM Central on Monday. Yusei Kikuchi (7-7, 4.12 ERA) is the slated starter for Seattle, while Lance McCullers Jr. (10-4, 3.20 ERA) will pitch for Houston.

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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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