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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Houston gets back in the win column

Astros end six-game skid thanks to a gem by Greinke

Zack Greinke tossed a gem Saturday night. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the Mariners roared back Friday night to get a walk-off win over the Astros, dashing their hopes of ending their losing streak, Houston tried to even the series with a win on Saturday night with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound. Greinke would do his part, throwing a terrific game, and the Astros would squeak out one run, which was enough to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 1, Mariners 0

Astros' Record: 7-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Chris Flexen (1-1)

Plenty of hits, but only one run

Although the Astros were racking up hits against Chris Flexen, they had little to show for it. Eight different batters would notch ten hits against him, but the only time it amounted to a run was on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor Jones in the top of the fourth, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.

Greinke spins a gem

Luckily for them, Zack Greinke was making it look like that would be enough. He cruised through the Mariners all night, allowing just four hits while giving up zero runs along with six strikeouts, one of which moved him past 2,700 on his career. He could have attempted to finish the complete-game shutout, but at 91 pitches after eight, Dusty Baker opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly for the ninth. Greinke's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 91 P.

Houston finally ends their losing streak

With the high-leverage save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered to hold on to the one-run lead. He would do his job, finishing off the win for Greinke and putting an end to Houston's disappointing losing streak.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will look to make a rebound from his disappointing first start with the Astros, while the Mariners will start Nick Margevicius (0-1, 7.04 ERA).

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