Houston can't complete the sweep

Houston's stretch of stellar pitching ends as Astros fall to Red Sox in finale

Astros' Jose Altuve
Houston's bats went quiet in the finale against Boston. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Houston's bats went quiet in the finale against Boston.

With a series victory in hand, the Astros tried to end their current homestand with a four-game sweep of the Red Sox if they could get a win on Thursday afternoon, which would also keep them in step with the Oakland A's atop the division. Instead, Houston's streak of solid starting pitching would come to an end as Boston would power their way to handing them a loss.

Final Score: Red Sox 5, Astros 1

Astros' Record: 31-25, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Martin Perez (4-2)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-3)

Odorizzi lasts just three innings

After a decent start where he went 5.1 innings while allowing one run to the Padres in his first game back from the IL, Jake Odorizzi did not fare as well against the Red Sox. After working around a single in the first inning, he put two on base to lead off the top of the second on a double and a walk, setting up a three-run homer by Christian Arroyo to give Boston a 3-0 lead. It would take him 38 pitches to get through that inning, and after finishing the third at 76 total, he would see his day ended short as Dusty Baker made the early call to the bullpen. Odorizzi's final line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 76 P.

Astros miss another chance for a sweep

Enoli Paredes was the first reliever out and erased a one-out walk to get through a scoreless top of the fourth. Cristian Javier was next, coming in to eat some innings, and worked around a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth by getting three strikeouts to keep it a 3-0 game. He rebounded from that with a 1-2-3 sixth, but the Red Sox tagged him in the seventh by getting two on base to set up a two-RBI double to extend the lead to 5-0.

Meanwhile, Houston's offense had nothing going against Martin Perez, who was able to get 7.2 shutout innings on the board before Boston had to dip into their bullpen. After Joe Smith and Blake Taylor tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, Yuli Gurriel got the Astros on the board in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run. That would be the lone offensive highlight of the day, though, as Houston would watch another sweep slip away and pushed them a game behind Oakland in the division.

Up Next: The Astros will hit the road, starting with a trip up to Buffalo, New York, to take on the Blue Jays in their temporary home. The three-game weekend series will begin at 6:07 PM Central on Friday, with Zack Greinke (5-2, 3.67 ERA) going opposite Hyun Jin Ryu (5-2, 2.62 ERA).

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Mariners defeat Astros, 3-2. Composite Getty Image.

Bryce Miller allowed two runs over six innings to pick up his first win since April 17, and the Seattle Mariners used a big first inning against Houston starter Framber Valdez to hold on for a 3-2 win over the Astros on Monday night.

Seattle scored three times in the first off Valdez and then leaned on its pitching to make the early lead stand up. Miller did his part and then turned it over to relievers Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier and Andrés Muñoz to close out the victory.

Muñoz got three outs for his 11th save.

Miller (4-5) had lost his last four decisions, including his past three starts. In his four previous May starts, Miller allowed 15 earned runs after yielding just eight runs over six starts during the first month of the season.

But he seemed to rediscover a bit of his dominant form from that first month, striking out six and walking a pair. Miller said part of the success was noticing batters being more aggressive on his pitches early in counts, forcing him to be better with his location.

“For me (it's) just trying to make sure I'm still getting ahead, but with certain hitters in the lineup not making a mistake just trying to get ahead,” Miller said. “Being aggressive on the corner early and then working off of that.”

Miller cruised through the first four innings and retired 12 straight after issuing a walk to Kyle Tucker, the second batter of the game. But he ran into trouble in the fifth when he gave up three straight singles, the last coming from José Abreu, which scored Jake Meyers. Victor Caratini’s sacrifice fly plated another run and after Jose Altuve doubled, Miller escaped the jam by getting a groundout from Tucker.

Miller again pitched out of trouble in the sixth, putting two runners on before Jon Singleton flied out to the warning track in right-center to end the threat.

Abreu was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land ahead of Monday’s game and his single was his first big league hit since April 27. The 2020 AL MVP was batting .099 when he accepted an assignment to the minors on May 1.

All of Seattle’s offense came early. Meyers made a terrific sliding catch to rob Cal Raleigh of extra bases but it still resulted in a sacrifice fly. Ty France and Mitch Haniger followed with two-out RBI singles as Valdez faced eight batters in the first inning. He needed 43 pitches to get through the first two innings, but Seattle was unable to add on.

“We had all kinds of traffic and we had some good at-bats when we did have traffic out there. Unfortunately, sometimes the ball doesn't land on the grass like you want it to," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Valdez (3-3) allowed just two baserunners over his final four innings on the mound and was able to get through six. He permitted six hits, struck out four and walked three.

“I thought it took him a little bit of time for his sinker to be down and to execute. He just wasn't executing his pitches like he wanted to," Houston manager Joe Espada said. "Then after that he settled in and he threw a heck of a game.”

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Hunter Brown (1-5, 7.06 ERA) allowed just two hits and two runs over six innings in his last start but took his fifth loss.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.31) lost his last time out, giving up two runs over five innings against the Yankees.

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