Houston has hit a rough patch
Astros lose fourth straight as Orioles complete sweep in Houston
After dropping the first two games of this series, the Astros looked to salvage a game against the Orioles to avoid a series sweep against one of the MLB's worst teams in terms of record. They would fail that mission, losing their fourth in a row against beatable teams in a disappointing fashion.
Final Score: Orioles 5, Astros 2
Astros' Record: 48-33, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Tanner Scott (3-3)
Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (6-5)
Disastrous first inning for Garcia
Thanks in part to a remarkably disparate strike zone by home plate umpire CB Bucknor, which would get pitching coach Brent Strom ejected, Luis Garcia had a very disappointing start to his night. After back-to-back walks to start the game, one of which easily could have been a strikeout, Baltimore would take advantage and put up four runs and make Garcia use 44 pitches on a two-RBI double, RBI single, and a sac fly.
Garcia would do well to rebound for three more innings, allowing just one more hit in his four frames of work. Houston was able to get on the board against Matt Harvey in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to RBI singles by Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker to cut the lead in half at 4-2. Brandon Bielak was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the fifth, and he erased a leadoff single to keep it a two-run game.
Yordan gets us on the board. 👏#VoteAlvarez 🌟 https://t.co/W1Z6NoLggU pic.twitter.com/NwWsmX15Se
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 1, 2021
Houston drops fourth in a row
Cristian Javier came on in the top of the sixth, and he was able to work around a one-out single and walk to retire the side scoreless. He returned to get two more outs in the top of the seventh before issuing a walk that would prompt Dusty Baker to give Ryan Hartman, who moved onto the roster earlier in the day, his major league debut.
Hartman finished off the seventh but then allowed a solo homer to begin the top of the eighth to make it a three-run game before finishing the frame. With the score still 5-2 in the top of the ninth, Hartman returned for more work, erasing a two-out single to complete another inning. That score would go final as Houston would not rally, suffering their fourth-straight loss, including the three-game sweep by the Orioles.
Up Next: With this short three-game homestand over, the Astros will head back on the road for the rest of the week, picking up a four-game series with the Indians at 6:10 PM Central on Thursday. Framber Valdez (4-1, 2.11 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston in the opener, while J.C. Mejia (1-2, 4.94 ERA) is expected to start for Cleveland.