The Astros had their chances to support an impressive start by Dallas Keuchel on Sunday. Houston finished 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice.
The best chance came in the second inning when Houston loaded the bases with no outs. Unsurprisingly at this point, the Astros grounded into a double play. This time it was Jake Elmore who helped push a run across while killing a rally all at the same time to give Houston a 1-0 lead that they would hold for a long time.
Sunday was by far Keuchel's finest performance this season. He threw 105 pitches in his seven scoreless innings, scattering four hits and three walks while striking out two. Josh Fields followed with a scoreless inning in the eighth and the Astros held their one-run lead going into the ninth.
Chia-Jen Lo got the chance to record his second save in less than 24 hours. In his first ten innings as an MLB pitcher, Lo posted a 0.90 ERA. After Sunday, it was 2.61.
Lo allowed walk, single, walk to load the bases with no outs. Astros manager Bo Porter decided to stick with the righty, but Lo then walked Moses Sierra on a pitch that missed a little low to score the game-tying run. Lo struck out the next batter, but Kevin Chapman was then summoned to try to keep it tied.
Chapman was able to induce a ground ball from the first batter he faced, Ryan Goins, but it was chopped too high and too slow to second, allowing Anthony Gose to score the go-ahead run. Philip Humber came in to get the last out of the ninth.
But the Astros did not go down without a fight. With two outs, pinch-hitter Jason Castro got things started with a walk. Jonathan Villar followed with a single through the left side, and Brett Wallace also walked as a pinch-hitter to load the bases. With nobody left on the bench, Cody Clark came to the plate with a chance to be the hero in his first career start.
Clark hit a comebacker to Blue Jays' closer Casey Janssen that went off the top of his glove and towards the second baseman Goins with some speed still on it, allowing Goins to get Clark by a couple steps.
Robbie Grossman extended his hitting streak to 12 games with two singles from the leadoff spot. Villar recorded three hits, including a beautiful bunt single in the second inning. All eight Astros hits were singles.
Still, a third series win in the last four tries for Houston. The Astros will look to add another series win as they travel to Chicago to take on the White Sox. Brett Oberholtzer and his 2.91 ERA will get the start on Monday night.