Fowler fells Astros in nightcap

Fowler fells Astros in nightcap

Fowler fells Astros in nightcap
DENVER -- The Astros have suffered more disappointing and close losses than most teams have through this point of the season, which didn't make the agonizing events of a Memorial Day doubleheader gone awry any easier to digest.

After battling the struggling Rockies for 19 innings and more than 6 1/2 hours as sunny afternoon turned into starry night, the Astros left Coors Field with a four-game losing streak after Colorado capped a doubleheader sweep with a 7-6 win in 10 innings in the nightcap.

The marathon day ended when Dexter Fowler shot a triple into the right-field corner to score Michael Cuddyer from first base with the winning run against reliever Brett Myers, who began the 10th as the Astros' eighth pitcher of the game.

The Astros, who gave up a pair of runs in the eighth inning of the first game to lose 9-7, have lost four in a row since opening their road trip with a win in Los Angeles on Friday. They are 0-6 in extra-inning games, and 6-17 on the road heading into Tuesday's day off.

"It's disappointing, because I think we played really well today, and unfortunately we walked away with two losses," Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie said. "We've got to continue to battle and start pulling some of those close ones out."

The sight of the opposing team celebrating a walk-off win is a familiar one for the Astros, who have lost six walk-off games on the road this year.

"You never like to lose games on walk-offs or the last at-bat or when it's close, and we've lost quite a few of those," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "But at the same time there was a lot of positives and a lot of real good things that happened out there. That's what we're going to look at, and talk about some things we need to work on and go from there."

Justin Maxwell's mammoth pinch-hit home run in the sixth inning tied the game at 6, and that's where it stayed over the next three innings. Astros relievers Rhiner Cruz, Wesley Wright, Wilson Lopez, Xavier Cedeno, Fernando Rodriguez and Brandon Lyon combined to throw four scoreless innings, with Rodriguez getting Troy Tulowitzki to fly out to escape a bases-load jam in the eighth.

Myers, who had spent about 12 hours at the ballpark before he finally got into pitch in the 10th inning of the second game, allowed a leadoff single to Cuddyer before Fowler rocketed a line drive past first base and into the right-field corner, allowing Cuddyer to score just ahead of the throw.

"We played tough," Myers said. "We played hard all day, and it's tough to lose those tight games, especially when you're battling all day. We just need a day off to clear our minds [Tuesday] and come back and get them the next day."

It appeared Astros right-fielder Brian Bogusevic had a chance to cut off Fowler's hit and keep Cuddyer at third, but the ball scooted past him and to the wall.

"When I saw the right fielder take that route -- I thought he was going to cut it off -- that's when I knew," Fowler said. "I was like, 'OK, he's going to score.' If he wasn't, I was right behind him."

Jordan Lyles, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his fourth start of the season for Houston, worked five innings and allowed six hits and six runs (four earned). He had a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning, but allowed the Rockies to score four runs, including a three-run triple by Marco Scutaro.

"There's no excuses for not putting up zeroes," he said. "Your team puts up six runs and you don't close the door, so there's no excuses."

The Astros had recorded double-digit hits only once in their previous 22 games entering Monday before banging out 12 in Game 1 and 14 in Game 2, which was their most since clubbing 15 hits on May 2 against the Mets.

In addition to Maxwell, the Astros got homers from Bogusevic in the third inning and Chris Snyder in the fourth inning to help Lyles to a 4-2 lead. Bogusevic's homer was his first since homering against the Rockies on Opening Day.

"Our guys battled extremely well," Mills said. "There was a lot of good things, and a couple of things we need to get cleaned up in both games, but at the same time there was a lot of good at-bats and good things that happened."

Brian McTaggart is reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.