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Astros shut out by Yankees, open series with a loss

Houston’s offense got only three hits and has cooled down over the last two games

New York Yankees v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

On Friday with a sold-out crowd at Minute Maid Park, the Astros’ offense was off for the second night in a row and the team opened the series against the Yankees with a 4-0 loss. It was the second time Houston has been shut out in the current campaign.

In the early stages of the game, it was a pitching duel between Jake Odorizzi and Néstor Cortés, who got the best part despite ending his night without a decision. Cortés held the Astros for 4 2/3 scoreless innings of two hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. Yes, Cortés, the same pitcher that was rocked with five hits (two home runs) and eight runs by Houston on August 14, 2020. Oh, baseball!

Even though Odorizzi had another quality start (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER), the offense got only three hits: a Yordan Álvarez single and two doubles from Kyle Tucker (20), the only Astro that got into scoring position during the whole game.

The first two runs of the game for the Yankees came on a Brett Gardner two-run double in the top fourth.

Later, in the seventh against Bryan Abreu, DJ LeMahieu hit another two-run double. After adding to the lead vs Abreu, Brandon Bielak —one of the best aspects of the game for Houston— came to calm things down with 2 2/3 scoreless frames of three hits and two strikeouts.

The Astros, now with Carlos Correa on the injured list, will need to put things together and try to get a win on Saturday (7:15 pm ET) in the second contest of the series. Fortunately for them, the Oakland Athletics lost 3-2 to the Texas Rangers and the 4.5-game lead in the American League West remained intact.

This Saturday, will mark the return of Gerrit Cole to Minute Maid Park. You better be ready for what could be, in theory, a nail-biter pitching duel against veteran Zack Greinke, who hasn’t lost a game since May 25.

Ugly trivia fact: In the last three times the Yankees have shut out the Astros, the score finished 4-0.