Astros lose 13th in a row, drop to 51-109 by Yanks

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 28, 2013
Even for a team that has grown accustomed to losing in recent years, Houston's recent skid has become difficult to take. David Robertson got the save as Mariano Rivera looked on, and the New York Yankees got a glimpse of their future in a 3-2 win over Houston on Friday night that sent the Astros to their team-record 13th consecutive loss. ''It's been real tough losing 13 straight,'' Houston third baseman Matt Dominguez said. ''Hopefully we can come out tomorrow and Sunday and get wins and end the year on a good note, build a bit more confidence heading into spring training.'' David Adams hit a two-run double and Mark Reynolds also drove in a run for the Yankees, who stopped a four-game losing streak. Houston dropped to 51-109, the most losses for a major league team since the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks went 51-111. The Astros' 322 losses over three seasons are the fifth-most in big league history according to STATS, ahead of only the 1962-64 New York Mets (340), the 1963-65 Mets (332), the 1915-17 Philadelphia Athletics (324) and the 1940-42 Philadelphia Phillies (323). A night after Rivera's emotional farewell at Yankee Stadium, New York started the final series of a disappointing season in which the team failed to reach the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years. Adam Warren (3-2) allowed two hits and struck out four in five scoreless innings. David Phelps gave up Brett Wallace's two-run double in the seventh that got Houston within 3-2, and Joba Chamberlain struggled before Preston Clairborne and Robertson closed it out. Wallace said they're trying to stay positive as the losses continue to pile up. ''You can't worry about the wins and the losses at the end of the day,'' he said. ''You can't look every night at your schedule or record and feel sorry for yourself or panic and think you have to get a certain amount of wins, but obviously the goal is to keep getting better every day and learn how to win these close games.'' Robertson, who got his third save, figures to inherit the closer role Rivera has held since 1997. Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer (4-5) yielded three runs - two earned - and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. He allowed two runs or less in seven of his 10 starts this season to finish with a 2.24 ERA this season as a starter. ''He's done a tremendous job with the opportunity that was presented to him,'' Houston manager Bo Porter said. ''He's put himself in a good position moving forward going into next year with a good opportunity to be in this rotation.'' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the fourth, Alfonso Soriano walked and Reynolds singled to drive in the go-ahead run. Third baseman Matt Dominguez's error allowed Soriano to take third, and Adams doubled just inside the fence in the left-field corner. ''The three-run inning obviously we actually could have kept it first and second and had a chance to get a double play to get out of it, but we made a costly error that allowed the base runners to move up base,'' Porter said. ''And they ended up getting the big hit to get the three runs there.'' Houston struck out seven times, increasing their franchise-record total this season to 1,511. They are 18 shy of Arizona's record, set in 2010. NOTES: New York's Andy Pettitte will make his final start before retiring on Saturday against Paul Clemens. The 41-year-old Pettitte, who is from nearby Deer Park, played for the Astros from 2004-06. ''To be able to make my last start here in my hometown is going to be extremely special,'' he said. ''Everybody that I've grown up with ... and that instilled things in me is going to be here. So it's going to be a really exciting day for me. And it's fitting, I believe.'' The Astros honored Pettitte in the middle of the fifth inning on Friday night by presenting him with the framed No. 21 jersey he wore when he played in Houston.
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