Believe it or not, the Cleveland Guardians led in the first inning of Friday night’s 9-3 loss to the Houston Astros thanks to a solo home run by Amed Rosario, who has now homered in three of his last five games after slugging four home runs in the previous 95 games.
Unfortunately, that lead did not last long, as Trey Mancini and the Astros went to town on rookie starting pitcher Hunter Gaddis. Mancini hit a second inning home run to tie the game before launching a grand slam off Gaddis in the third inning to give Houston a 6-1 lead.
Gaddis simply didn’t have the stuff to fool the Astros’ hitters, who laid off his slider, cutter, curveball, and sinker and sat on his four-seam fastball. His most successful secondary pitch was his changeup, which recorded a 40% CSW%. But the damage done against his four-seamer was catastrophic. Gaddis was tagged for seven hits, two walks, and eight earned runs over 3.1 innings of work, firmly putting the game out of reach for the Guardians.
With starting pitcher Framber Valdez on the mound for Houston, Cleveland struggled to gain much ground after falling behind 8-1 in the fourth inning. Valdez finally ran out of gas in the seventh inning, at which point Luke Maile contributed an RBI single and Myles Straw brought in another run with an RBI double to cut the Astros’ lead to 8-3.
But a sac fly by Martin Maldonado in the eighth inning gave us our final score.
Sadly, Steven Kwan’s 18-game hitting streak finally came to end, as he was 0-for-2 when he was pulled from the game for precautionary reasons after fouling a ball off his foot.