Houston wastes another chance at a sweep

Astros drop finale in slug-fest with Red Sox

Houston couldn't out-slug Boston on Thursday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a chance to sweep this three-game series against Boston, Houston tried to replicate the success of the first two games on Thursday night against the Red Sox. Instead, the Astros would come up short in a slug-fest where Houston's bullpen would once again give up too many runs.

Final Score: Red Sox 12, Astros 8

Astros' Record: 35-27, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Darwinzon Hernandez (1-2)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Taylor (0-1)

Greinke lasts just three innings

After notching a one-run complete game in his last start against the Blue Jays, Zack Greinke would encounter a disappointing start in this one against the Red Sox. After a 1-2-3 first, Boston put up two runs against him in the second, one on an RBI single and another on a bases-loaded walk as they would send eight batters to the plate in the frame.

They scored two more on him in the next inning, with a leadoff solo homer and then a two-out RBI single, pushing him out of the game early after using 64 pitches to get through those three innings. His final line: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 64P.

Both teams continue to trade runs

Those four runs had the Astros down 4-3, as they could put up three of their own over that span on a solo homer by Yuli Gurriel in the second and two-RBI double by Yordan Alvarez in the third. Houston regained the lead in the top of the fifth, getting four runs on a bases-loaded walk by Gurriel and a two-RBI double by Kyle Tucker with a run scoring on an error in the same play, making it 7-4.

Boston tied the game up in the bottom of the same inning, putting two on base against Brandon Bielak on two singles to set up a three-run homer to make it 7-7 going to the sixth. In the top of that inning, Jose Altuve put Houston back in front with a solo home run to make it 8-7, but Boston roared back with a big inning of their own.

Astros drop the finale

Blake Taylor started the bottom of the sixth trying to get through at least an inning but instead would allow a game-tying sac fly turned error before he would leave with two outs. Enoli Paredes entered to try and get that last out, but he would not be able to get it done, allowing four runs, one each on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and walk, then a two-RBI double to extend their new lead to 12-8.

After a scoreless seventh and eighth, Houston would watch the four-run deficit go final in the top of the ninth as Boston would salvage a game in this series to avoid the sweep. The loss keeps Houston behind Oakland, for now, on top of the AL West standings as the Astros continue to try and overtake them for the division lead.

Up Next: Houston will finish this nine-game road trip with a three-game set in Minnesota against the Twins, starting with the opener at 7:10 PM Central on Friday. Jose Urquidy (4-3, 3.76 ERA) will try and get the win for the Astros, while Matt Shoemaker (2-7, 7.28 ERA) will be on the mound for the Twins.

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Luis Garcia played his part in a pitcher's duel with Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With an impressive offensive onslaught to overpower Chicago in game one of this series, the Astros entered this second of four games hoping to keep their momentum going. After an impressive pitcher's duel left the game tied late into the game, Houston would edge out the win with a big walk-off in the ninth.

Final Score: Astros 2, White Sox 1

Astros' Record: 41-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Crochet (2-3)

Garcia matches Rodon in a pitcher's duel

Both starting pitchers were very effective, save one inning, in their respective seven innings of work. For Luis Garcia, he had his struggles in the top of the first to start the game, allowing a one-out double and single to put runners on second and third, setting up an RBI single to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

He limited the damage to that one run, both in that inning and the rest of his night, as he would follow that with six straight scoreless frames. Once he found his groove in the fourth, he would retire 12 of 13 batters he faced over that span to get through seven one-run innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

For Houston, it took until one out into the fifth inning to get a hit and their first baserunner against Carlos Rodon. That sparked an opportunity to grab a lead, as they would go on to load the bases still with one out but would get just one run out of it with a two-out RBI walk by Martin Maldonado to tie the game up 1-1.

Astros walk it off in the ninth

Ryne Stanek was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, erasing a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to keep things gridlocked. Still in a stalemate in the top of the ninth, the Astros opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly to try and keep it tied to set up a potential walk-off. He was perfect, striking out Chicago 1-2-3 to send it to the home half.

In the bottom of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel got the winning run on base by hitting a one-out single. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who got the walk-off hit, roping a ball into the right-field corner deep enough for Gurriel to hustle from first to home to win it for Houston, 2-1.

Up Next: Now having won five in a row, the Astros will try to lock up this series in game three of four on Saturday at 6:15 PM Central. Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51 ERA) will try to get a win for the White Sox, while Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his 2021 success for Houston.

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