Final-10 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   10 R H E
Arizona0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 6100
Houston0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4111
  W: J. Wendelken (1-1)   L: Y. García (0-2)   S: T. Clippard (6)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, September 18, 2021
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 25,314

Lance McCullers Jr. hopes to save Astros' bullpen vs. D-backs

According to STATS
According to STATS

Arizona Diamondbacks at Houston Astros

  1. Houston and Arizona split their six meetings last season, with each team taking two of three at its home ballpark. The Diamondbacks are 3-14 (.176) in interleague play this season -- tied with the Marlins for the worst record in MLB; the Astros are 7-10 against the NL.
  2. Arizona was swept in three games by the Dodgers, falling to 47-99. The 99 losses are already the club's second-most losses in franchise history, trailing only the 2004 team that finished with a 51-111 record.
  3. Nick Ahmed is hitting .192 on the road, the fifth-worst road average in MLB among batting title qualifiers, and is on track to be fourth-lowest in franchise history, behind Mark Reynolds (.181 in 2010), Travis Lee (.181 in 1999) and Chris Snyder (.187 in 2005).
  4. Houston took three of four against the Rangers, outscoring them, 35-12, in the series. That +23 run differential is tied for the Astros' second largest in a single series this season -- they outscored the A's, 35-9, in the season-opening series in Oakland.
  5. Yordan Alvarez has a team-leading 96 RBI this year and could be the third player in Astros history to reach 100 RBI in a season before turning 25, joining Alex Bregman (103 RBI in 2018) and Cesar Cedeno (102 RBI in 1974).
  6. Madison Bumgarner has a 4-2 record and a 2.89 ERA in 53.0 career innings pitched against the Astros, but has not beat Houston since August 2015. He has made just two career starts at Minute Maid Park, going 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 11.2 innings pitched.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/17/2021 thru 9/19/2021

With their rotation compromised due to injuries, the Houston Astros did their best to piecemeal their way through the opener of their three-game interleague series with the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Astros (87-60) used eight pitchers in a 4-3, 10-inning win Friday, so their bullpen might be taxed when the series continues Saturday night.

Right-handed reliever Brandon Bielak made his first start of the season Friday and tossed 2 2/3 innings for Houston, which played its eighth game in a stretch of 17 without an off day.

"We were mixing and matching the best way we could," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "(The Diamondbacks) present a problem in that they have a whole lot of lefties."

Left-handers Blake Taylor and Brooks Raley combined to work two critical innings and serve as the bridge between Bielak and the final five relievers. Ultimately, the Astros made it work.

Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will start for the host Astros on Saturday.

He is 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings over his past five starts, allowing a .620 opponent OPS. The Astros won four of those starts, with McCullers working five scoreless innings and getting a no-decision in the Astros' 4-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 31.

McCullers is 1-1 with an 8.56 ERA over three career starts against Arizona, including a start on Aug. 5, 2020, in which he allowed eight runs on seven hits with one strikeout over 3 2/3 innings.

Rookie right-hander Humberto Castellanos (2-1, 3.90 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Diamondbacks on Saturday.

Castellanos, who made eight relief appearances with the Astros in 2020 and finished 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA, won his previous start against the Mariners on Sept. 11. He allowed three runs on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in a 7-3 victory at Seattle.

He is 2-0 with a 4.42 ERA over four starts this season. Signed by the Astros out of Mexico on July 2, 2015, Castellanos made his major league debut against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 4, 2020, working a perfect ninth inning in the Astros' 8-2 victory.

The defeat Friday was the 100th of the season for the Diamondbacks, who have only 47 wins. It is the second 100-loss season in franchise history, with the current club joining the 2004 team that went 51-111 three years after Arizona won the World Series.

"I don't think today is any more frustrating than any other one," said Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner, a three-time World Series champion who noted being part of a 100-loss team for the first time in his 13-year career. "We've been on pace to blow past that for quite some time. Unfortunately, it's not a surprise. It's not something that anyone was eager to see happen."

The Diamondbacks played with admirable grit in an attempt to avoid the inevitable. Bumgarner pitched exceptionally, carrying a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, and Arizona clawed back from a 2-1 deficit to force extra innings before taking the lead on a David Peralta single in the 10th.

Ultimately, the Diamondbacks came up short. Houston tied the game in the bottom of the 10th on Jake Meyers' RBI single, then won it when Arizona's Tyler Clippard, pitching with the bases loaded, hit Chas McCormick with a pitch.

"It's like I just bit into an onion," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "That's how it is every time we lose. Every loss hurts me, it hurts the staff, it hurts the players. We've got to understand we're in this position and not feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to move forward and have a better day tomorrow."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 18, 2021