Usually, when your key hitters are off, you won’t get many wins. And that’s exactly what happened to the Astros on Saturday night, when they lost 4-1 to the Guardians in the third contest of a four-game series. On the other hand, Cleveland scored early and held its lead until the end.
The Astros’ first four hitters –José Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Yordan Álvarez, and Alex Bregman— went 1-for-15 with four strikeouts and six men left on base. That’s it, that’s the key stat to understand why the Astros lost tonight.
On the pitching side, Luis García was attacked early. He allowed an RBI double to José Ramírez in the first inning and then, in the second, García surrendered two run-scoring singles to Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario to make it 4-0.
However, García stayed in the game and gave the Astros six innings of nine hits and four earned runs, along with one walk and five strikeouts. He was the losing pitcher (8-8) and his ERA climbed to 3.93, the highest it’s been for him since April 30 (4.15).
His counterpart, Cal Quantrill, threw six scoreless innings and gave up only three hits while striking out four Astros.
With Jeremy Peña on the bench, Aledmys Díaz got the start at shortstop and went 2-for-4 with two doubles, including an RBI two-bagger in the ninth that accounted for the Astros’ lone run of the game. To end the game, Trey Mancini grounded out with a runner on third.
On Sunday, we’ll discover whether the Astros win the series or split it 2-2. Both teams will face one another for the last time this regular season in a duel between two young righties: Cristian Javier for Houston, Triston McKenzie for Cleveland. Start time is at 11:05 am CDT.