Houston continues to fall in the standings

Losing streak extended to five games as Astros drop opener to A's

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Finally able to get out of Los Angeles for a change of scenery after the four-game sweep by the Angels, the Astros were in Oakland Monday night for a five-game set against the division-leading A's. Here is a quick rundown of the series opener:

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 0.

Record: 21-20, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Chris Bassitt (3-2, 3.12 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.38 ERA).

Javier goes five innings 

Cristian Javier had a mostly decent outing on Monday, keeping it a close game while he was on the mound. He would last five frames, reaching 94 pitches along the way to reach a season-high. Although the A's would force him into extended at-bats, he only allowed two runs.

Those came in the bottom of the second when a lead-off single set up an RBI-double by former-Astro Tony Kemp to give Oakland the 1-0 lead. After Houston erased Kemp as he tried to steal third, Sean Murphy followed that with a solo home run to double the lead to 2-0. Javier would keep the score there, going three more scoreless innings. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Bullpen struggles continue as A's take the opener

After Javier, Cionel Perez would take over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth. He would face three batters, getting two outs and allowing a single, before the Astros moved on to Andre Scrubb. Scrubb finished the sixth, then retired for the seventh. He completed that inning, but not before allowing a leadoff walk that would eventually score after moving to third on a one-out single and sacrifice fly, making it a 3-0 Oakland lead.

Cy Sneed was next out of the bullpen for the Astros, and he too would be bitten by a leadoff walk, as that runner would score on a one-out RBI-single to extend the lead to 4-0 before Oakland blew it open with a two-RBI single later in the inning to make it 6-0. That would be the final score as the A's would shutout the Astros to take the first game of the five-game set.

Up Next: This series continues on Tuesday with a doubleheader starting at 5:10 PM Central. The first game should feature Zack Greinke (3-0, 2.91 ERA) on the mound for the Astros opposite Frankie Montas (2-3, 6.06 ERA) for the A's. The second game, which will start about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first, will have Mike Minor (0-5, 5.94 ERA) starting for Oakland while Houston is expected to have a bullpen-led game with the starter TBD.

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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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