Los Angeles takes first of two games against Houston

Tensions high as Dodgers ride big inning to win against Astros

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In a rematch of the 2017 World Series, the Dodgers arrived in Houston on Tuesday for the first of two games at Minute Maid Park. As expected, the rivalry found itself rekindled in an exciting matchup. Here is a quick recap:

Final Score: Dodgers 5, Astros 2.

Record: 3-2, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brusdar Graterol (1-1, 3.86 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (0-1, 4.15 ERA).

Correa drives in the first two runs

After both Framber Valdez and Walker Buehler recorded 1-2-3 first innings, they would not have as clean second innings. In the top of the second, Valdez allowed his first baserunner via a two-out walk, then allowed a single, but was able to get out of the inning unscathed. Buehler also had a two-out issue, a Carlos Correa solo home run, which put Houston ahead 1-0.

Correa would drive in another run in the bottom of the fourth, getting an RBI-single to bring in Michael Brantley, who had singled earlier in the inning, doubling the lead to 2-0 and ending Buehler's night.

Dodgers roar back with a five-run fifth

Valdez was still on the mound in the fifth, but after loading the bases in the fifth would be taken out as Enoli Paredes would enter with one out and the bases still full. Paredes would struggle, walking in a run, seeing another come in on an error by Alex Bregman to tie the game, then giving up back-to-back RBI-singles to put Los Angeles up 4-2.

Andre Scrubb would come in to make his MLB debut and hopefully stop the damage, but instead issued a four-pitch walk to walk in another run before getting a double play to end the half-inning, making it a 5-2 deficit for Houston.

Benches clear in the sixth

Scrubb would do much better in his first full inning, retiring the Dodgers in order in the top of the sixth, including two strikeouts. In the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers would send Joe Kelly to the mound, who was clearly out to send a message to the Astros.

After throwing a ball four well behind Alex Bregman, interfering with Michael Brantley's path to first base on a groundball, he would get a strikeout to retire the Astros, then entice a bench-clearing confrontation by antagonizing Houston on his way back to the dugout.

Astros can't answer, Dodgers get the win

Scrubb continued in the seventh and despite loading the bases was able to complete the inning and keep it a three-run game. Nivaldo Rodriguez was yet another Houston reliever to make an MLB debut, and he was able to work around a couple of hits to record a scoreless top of the eighth.

Rodriguez continued pitching in the top of the ninth and was able to erase a few runners for another scoreless inning. The Astros would be unable to add on to Correa's two runs earlier in the game, resulting in a loss and moving them to 3-2 on the season.

Up Next: Game two of this two-game set will get underway at 6:00 PM Wednesday. The Astros have still not named their starter, and will likely rely on a young or newly acquired arm to start or go with a bullpen day, while the Dodgers will have Dustin May on the mound.

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With the disappointing loss in extra innings late the night before, the Astros returned to RingCentral Coliseum on Saturday afternoon to try and even the series against the A's, who now owned a 3.5 game lead in the AL West over Houston. Here is a quick rundown of the middle game of the series:

Final Score: A's 3, Astros 1.

Record: 6-8, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Frankie Montas (2-1, 1.57 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (0-2, 2.04 ERA).

Valdez does his job

Framber Valdez ran into stress early on Saturday, facing trouble in the bottom of the first inning. It started with a leadoff solo home run, putting Oakland up 1-0 before they would record an out. He later allowed back-to-back one-out singles to rack up his pitch count in the frame but would limit the damage to the single run.

He was able to re-focus and settle in during the following innings, getting quick, scoreless innings in the next four. In the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff groundball that likely should have been the first out was instead a single that would come back to bite Houston. That runner stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw, then scored on an RBI-groundout, doubling Oakland's lead to 2-0. Valdez would go one more inning, giving Houston precisely what they needed by helping give their exhausted bullpen a break. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR.

Houston's offense unable to get anything going

Unfortunately for Houston, Frankie Montas was even more efficient on the other side. Houston was only able to notch two hits against him over seven innings while Montas only had to throw 86 pitches over that span. Oakland would go to their bullpen in the top of the eighth, with the Astros getting just a single in the inning.

Nivaldo Rodriguez would take over for Valdez in the bottom of the eighth and allowed a solo home run to make it 3-0 before completing the inning. Houston would get a leadoff double by Kyle Tucker to start the top of the ninth, and he would come around to score on an RBI-single by Alex Bregman. That's as close as Houston would get, though, as Oakland would finish off the win to secure the series and extend Houston's losing streak to four games.

Up Next: The final game of this series and Houston's nine-game road trip will be on Sunday at 3:10 PM Central. Jesus Luzardo (0-0, 2.31 ERA) will make a start for the A's while Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his success in 2020 for the Astros.

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