Despite overpowering the Angels throughout the whole series, the Astros couldn’t have it this time. On Thursday night, their offense was pretty quiet against the Halos, and Houston lost the low-scoring game 3-2 failing to extend their winning streak to five games and to take advantage of Lance McCullers’ good pitching performance. Unfortunately, the Astros couldn’t shrink their magic number tonight.
Even though righty Alex Cobb allowed plenty of baserunners (four hits, three walks), he managed to allow only one earned run through 5 2/3 innings. As a matter of fact, the Astros’ lineup went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base as a whole.
The game was basically a starters’ duel for the most part. We got to the sixth with the Angels up 1-0 on the score and the Astros tied the game in the top sixth. Immediately, Anaheim took the lead back thanks to a two-run double from Jack Mayfield’s bat against Lance in the bottom of the sixth inning.
McCullers Jr. finished his outing after six good innings in which he allowed two hits and three earned runs, giving up four walks and five strikeouts. He took his fifth loss of the season and the first one since August 15. In five starts vs Anaheim, he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of them.
In good news for the Astros, Ryne Stanek and Blake Taylor maintained their hot streaks with scoreless appearances for both of them. Stanek owns a 0.73 ERA over his last 12 games while Taylor has surrendered only five earned runs in his last 21 1/3 episodes (2.11 ERA).
Offensively, there wasn’t much going on for Houston, though two positive notes were the following:
- With an RBI single, Carlos Correa picked up his 13th run batted in his last 10 games.
- José Altuve extended his hitting streak to 11 games thanks to a single off Angels’ closer Raisel Iglesias.
- Jason Castro hit a solo, ninth-inning home run as a pinch hitter.
On Saturday (8:40 pm CT), the Astros will host the Athletics to begin a three-game series. Zack Greinke will try to make his way back to dominance after a rough stretch, righty Frankie Montás will be his counterpart.