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Astros can’t hit this time, drop series opener in extras

Despite striking first on the scoreboard, the Astros’ offense was off on Friday.

MLB: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday afternoon, the Astros looked awful against the Twins’ pitching. Not only they struck out 13 times facing starter Sonny Gray but they were walked off 3-2 in 10 innings. Their record is now at 3-5 and they’re third in the AL West.

For most of the game, it was a pitching duel between Gray and Astros’ José Urquidy. The latter went 5 1/3 innings and surrendered seven hits and one earned run, giving up one walk and striking out six hitters. On the other side, Gray served up four hits and one earned run, with one walk and 13 punchouts.

Despite Gray’s dominance, the Astros struck first. Thanks to an Alex Bregman single, they went ahead 1-0 in the top third.

That lead was blown by Bryan Abreu, who threw a wild pitch that allowed Donovan Solano to score to tie the game in the sixth.

However, Rafael Montero, Héctor Neris, and Ryan Pressly combined to hang three zeroes between innings seven a nine, forcing it to extras. Pressly struck out the side in the ninth...

In the 10th inning, Mauricio Dubón hit a go-ahead single with the ghost runner at third base to make it 2-1. When we thought this could be enough for the Astros, well, we were wrong…

Ryne Stanek was brought out of the ‘pen to pitch the bottom 10th with the ghost runner standing on second base. He began in a good way, striking out former opponent Carlos Correa to get the first out.

After a wild pitch, the ghost runner –Byron Buxton— made it to third and Trevor Larnach drew a walk. Immediately, José Miranda hit a game-tying single and minutes later Kyle Farmer got the walk-off on a single to end the game.

The Astros have now lost four of their last five games. They’ll have a second chance against the Twins on Saturday with Luis García on the mound. Righty Joe Ryan will pitch for Minnesota. Game is scheduled to start at 1:10 pm (CT).