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White Sox 4, Astros 1: The losing streak runs to seven

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Houston once again creates the chances, but doesn't take advantage as season-long skid continues.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

If I told you before last night's game that George Springer was going to go 5-for-5 and Vincent Velasquez was going pitch five scoreless innings in his MLB debut, you'd think the Astros were probably going to win the game, right?

Two problems: One, the Astros were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Two, the usually sound Houston bullpen allowed four runs in four innings.

A Jake Marisnick sacrifice fly in the second inning was all Houston could muster Wednesday night, despite a flurry of chances. Of course, Springer actually did go 5-for-5 with five singles and he was never able to score - an incredible feat.

It gets worse:

Our lord and savior Carlos Correa and Chris Carter also doubled in the game for Houston.

The Astros as a team are hitting .214 with just 30 runs in their last 10 games. Situational hitting continues to be a problem, and it has become more glaring as the power has disappeared. Houston has hit just four home runs during the seven-game streak.

As for Velasquez, Houston should be pleased with his first start. In a few ways, VV's debut paralleled Lance McCullers debut, who allowed a run on three hits while walking three and striking out five. Unlike McCullers, Velasquez did make it through the fifth inning and he did not allow a run.

However, the command was a small issue as Velasquez walked four, but he was impressive in working out of trouble. The changeup is graded as VV's offspeed go-to, but he was able to put hitters away with his curveball as well. And, of course, the fastball was outstanding, living at 96-97 throughout his outing.

But once Velasquez exited with a 1-0 lead after five innings, things went awry. First Will Harris surrendered a game-tying solo shot to Adam LaRoche in the sixth. Then on the first pitch of the seventh, Geovany Soto jumped on a Tony Sipp fastball for the go-ahead homer. And in the eighth, the usually-fantastic Pat Neshek was victimized by a two-run bomb from Jose Abreu.

Over it's last 17 innings, Houston's bullpen has an ERA of 7.41.

Just like Houston can't hit three homers in every game, the bullpen can't shutout the opponent every night. However, the hitting and bullpen pitching have struggled in sync during Houston's roughest patch of 2015. As for the part of the team that many agree needs upgrading: Houston's starters pitched 19 innings in three games vs. Chicago and allowed five runs.

Houston is off Thursday before it will take on Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners Friday.