Friday was a horror night for the Astros’ offense. Just for the third time since June 18, the Astros were shut out, this time to open the series against the Orioles. One mistake was all it took as a two-run shot by Ramón Urías accounted for the two runs of the game. Entering this game, Houston had won four games in a row, but lost this one with a 2-0 score.
The Astros registered only four hits in the contest (all singles) and were silenced by righty Kyle Bradish, making his 16th big-league start. Bradish went eight scoreless innings and struck out six. He –along with former Astro Cionel Pérez and Dillon Tate— made Houston go 0-for-3 with RISP and leave six men on base.
All the Astros did against Baltimore pitching was to hit singles: one from Yordan Álvarez, two from Alex Bregman, and one from Kyle Tucker. Trey Mancini, who went hitless in three at-bats against his former team, struck out to end the game and strand two men on base.
Speaking of good pitching, Lance McCullers Jr. was pretty sharp on Friday. The right-hander pitched five shutout innings, gave up four hits and three walks, and punched out two hitters. He lowered his ERA to 1.69, thanks in part to this play that José Altuve began…
Cristian Javier replaced McCullers Jr. after 90 pitches. Javier threw three innings of four strikeouts, but he allowed the go-ahead, two-run homer from Urías in the top sixth to make it 2-0. The Astros tried to make some noise in the ninth inning, but it just wasn’t their day.
On Saturday, both teams will collide again with each other in game two. José Urquidy and Dean Kremer are your announced starters. Could be a pitcher’s duel, but who knows? Uh?