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Astros’ offense can’t wake up as team losses 6-1 to Phillies

On a positive note, Jeremy Peña is heating up!

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros have just lost their fourth series of the season. With a 6-1 defeat against the Phillies on Saturday, they lost the first two contests of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. The concerning point here is they scored just one run for the third game in a row, a span in which the Astros averaged 4.6 hits per game.

This time, rival starter Zack Wheeler kept his hot streak and pitched six scoreless innings, allowed three hits, gave up a walk, and struck out seven Astros. Cristian Javier, on the Astros’ side, was good as well –going 5 2/3 strong innings of three earned runs— but the Astros failed to back him up offensively.

All the Astros had until the seventh inning was two singles and a double but no more than that.

Yordan Álvarez was the only man in the Astros’ lineup to record more than one hit as he got a single and his fourth double of the campaign. It was Jeremy Peña who drove in the Astros’ lone run, though – with his second home run in as many nights and his sixth overall.

Peña seems to be finding his offensive rhythm. In his last nine games, he’s hitting for a strong .314/.351/.686 slash line with a double and four dingers.

Two homers by Nick Castellanos and Kody Clemens were key hits for the Phillies. Castellanos’ solo shot cracked the scoreboard in the fourth inning, while Clemens’ added two more runs and made it 4-0 in the sixth. All of a sudden, and even before the Astros could have their first run, Alec Bohm and Jake Cave drove in two more runs (6-0).

Reliever Phil Maton allowed his first earned run of 2023 (Clemens’ home run) and broke a streak of 10 scoreless appearances to begin the season (11.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 13 SO over that span).

The Astros will try to avoid the series sweep on Sunday night. Youngster Bailey Falter will have the ball for the Phillies while José Urquidy is the assigned stopper by Houston to go after the win. Game starts at 6:10 pm CT.