Astros look to build up steam in series opener vs. Giants

Two teams hoping to continue an uphill climb into postseason contention square off when the Houston Astros make a rare trip to San Francisco to open a three-game interleague series against the host Giants on Monday night.

A pair of young pitchers get the call in the series opener when Astros right-hander Spencer Arrighetti (3-5, 5.79) faces Giants lefty Kyle Harrison (4-3, 4.18).

The former National League rivals, both currently under .500, will be meeting in San Francisco for the first time since 2021, when the Giants won two of three in a high-scoring, late-season series.

Both teams saw their jets cooled a bit in losses Sunday that prevented each from flying into San Francisco riding a nice winning streak. Each team is dealing with an injury involving its third baseman as well.

Houston was six outs from completing a three-game road sweep of the Los Angeles Angels until the hosts rallied for two runs in the eighth. The Angels sent the Astros away with a 9-7 setback, following a walk-off, two-run homer by Logan O’Hoppe off Josh Hader in the ninth.

The Astros had to pull Alex Bregman from the loss after he was hit by a pitch in the left hand. Meanwhile, the Giants gave Matt Chapman a day off after he took a hard fall chasing after a foul ball in Saturday’s win in Texas.

Both are expected to play Monday.

“I’m good,” Bregman insisted after X-rays were negative.

Arrighetti will be tasked with getting the Astros’ road trip headed back in a positive direction — but he must prove he’s healthy first. He was pulled after three innings in his mot recent start against the St. Louis Cardinals last Tuesday, a move that occurred after he was nailed by a comebacker in the left calf earlier in the game.

The injury was later determined to be just a bruise, and he wasn’t forced to miss a turn in the rotation.

Arrighetti allowed just one run and three hits and three walks in his three innings against the Cardinals. He has issued multiple walks in all 10 of his starts this season, including three in each of the past three outings despite pitching a total of just 14 innings in those games.

The 24-year-old has never faced the Giants.

He will see an opponent that’s been streaky of late. The Giants won the first two games of their most recent homestand against the Philadelphia Phillies before losing six in a row, including twice at Arizona to kick off their just completed trip.

They then rebounded to take a three-game winning streak into Sunday’s contest at Texas.

“We had a chance to at least sneak out one more,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said following his team’s 7-2 setback to the Rangers. “That losing streak and losing the first two in Arizona … I thought we responded pretty well after that.”

Harrison has taken losses in his past two starts, roughed up for a total of eight runs (seven earned) and 20 hits in 11 innings by the Phillies and Diamondbacks.

The 22-year-old will be seeing the Astros for the first time in his career.

–Field Level Media