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From bad to worse! The Astros sink and lose again to Padres in extras in a tough one

On the back of bullpen woes and a defensive miscue in the ninth inning, Houston falls for the sixth time in its last seven games.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

If Friday’s game was tough to watch, this was even worse. Just when the Astros needed only one out to seal a 6-3 win against the Padres on Saturday night, everything came crashing down until the final out of the game in the 12th inning with an 11-8 score. Houston is now 1-6 in its last seven contests.

With two outs in the ninth and Ryan Pressly trying to get a four-out save, Fernando Tatís Jr. got a second chance after Taylor Jones failed to catch what seemed to be a catchable foul ball near first base.

Had Jones made that catch, the game would have been over. But instead, Tatís Jr. destroyed a Pressly fastball in the middle of the zone and hit a three-run moonshot to left field. Within seconds, the score was tied 6-6 and the Astros were heading again to extra innings with an exhausted bullpen.

Even worse, they wasted Jake Odorizzi’s dominant return to the mound. In his best start as an Astro, Odorizzi was in line to pick up his first win of the season, thanks to a solid performance of 5 13 innings of three-hit, one-run ball. He gave up one walk and struck out four hitters, including Tatís Jr. twice and Manny Machado once. As part of his Saturday night highlights, he retired 14 straight hitters at one point.

Even though the offense had a better showing than in Friday’s series opener with the Astros ahead 5-0 in the fifth inning, they left 11 men on base and were 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position. Somehow, thanks in part to Carlos Correa’s 4th inning 2-run home run and Alex Bregman’s 5th inning RBI double, the Astros began the eighth inning up 6-1, but their bullpen and Jones’ defensive missed opportunity got in the way.

Joe Smith’s poor season continued, Pressly took his first blown save of the year, and Ralph Garza Jr., in his major league debut, was credited with the loss after allowing a three-run shot to Wil Myers in the top of the 12th episode, that all but sealed the Astros’ fate.

Houston is going through one of their worst stretches of the 2021 season. They can’t catch a break, the bullpen looks bad and tired, and their potent lineup has not been enough to mask an inefficient relief staff.

There is no time to pause and reset. The Astros won’t have an off day until June 7. For now, they’ll have to focus on avoiding the sweep against the Padres. The series finale is tomorrow, Sunday (1:10 pm CT).

Zack Greinke takes his turn at the mound, looking to stop the bleeding.