HOUSTON – The Houston Astros had plenty of chances to grab a big lead early in Monday night's game against the San Diego Padres.
Three of them, in fact, but the Astros left the bases loaded in three straight innings and eventually lost 8-7 to San Diego.
Carlos Quentin hit an RBI double in the 10th to give the Padres the win, leaving Houston to lament its missed opportunities.
"That was a tough one because we had those opportunities to score, but it just didn't come through for us," manager Brad Mills said. "The second, third, fourth innings we had the bases loaded, and we only got the one run ... That was tough. We were just one big hit away."
Trailing 4-3 in the second, the Astros loaded the bases with two outs, but Carlos Lee flew out to center to end the inning. Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez bounced out with the bases loaded and two down in the third.
Houston pushed across two runs in the fourth to tie it at 5. Chris Johnson singled in Brian Bixler and J.D. Martinez had a bases-loaded walk on four pitches. But Jordan Schafer struck out looking to end the inning.
"When you get those opportunities, I don't know if guys try to do too much," Mills said. "We had some good quality at-bats those three innings with the bases loaded. ... It's just that when you get those opportunities, you need to take advantage of it."
San Diego manager Bud Black said stopping those rallies was huge.
"They're one hit away from extending a lead or breaking it open or really getting the momentum on their side," Black said. "They were one hit away or one ball in the gap from a three-run lead. As ugly as it was at times on the mound, at times it was pretty good. We made some pitches."
Chase Headley walked with one out and stole second before Quentin drove him in with a drive to right-center against Brandon Lyon (0-2).
San Diego grabbed a 7-6 lead on Jesus Guzman's two-run homer in the eighth inning but Jason Castro tied it with a solo shot in the bottom half.
Dale Thayer (1-2) pitched a perfect ninth for the win and Huston Street finished for his 11th save.
Bixler and Lee homered in the first inning for Houston, but San Diego responded with four runs in the second. Nick Hundley hit a two-run double and Chris Denorfia had a two-out RBI single against Rodriguez that made it 4-2.
Quentin, Guzman, Logan Forsythe and Hundley had two hits apiece for San Diego, which finished with 11 overall. Guzman also scored twice.
Forsythe hit an RBI single to put the Padres up 5-3 in the third as both starting pitchers struggled.
Ross Ohlendorf, who is from Austin, allowed eight hits and five runs in 3 2-3 innings for San Diego. He is winless in his home state in nine appearances, seven starts.
Rodriguez gave up eight hits and five runs in 6 2-3 innings. He retired the last 10 batters he faced.
"Wandy, it took him a little bit to settle down, and once he got settled down, he was pretty good," Mills said. "Getting to that point, it was too bad that it took him that long. They came out, and they were very aggressive on him, and the big blow in that second inning was that blow by Hundley."
Jed Lowrie's RBI double put Houston up 6-5 in the fifth. But the Astros could have had so much more: They stranded 13 runners altogether.
NOTES: Houston 2B Jose Altuve was out of the lineup after straining his right hamstring on Sunday. ... Houston starter Bud Norris (sprained left knee) felt good after a rehabilitation start on Saturday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. ... The Astros signed INF Rio Ruiz, a fourth-round pick in this year's draft. ... San Diego's Kip Wells will make his first start since 2009 against Jordan Lyles when the series continues on Tuesday. Wells hasn't pitched in the majors since allowing five runs in two-plus innings of a 13-0 loss to St. Louis on Oct. 1, 2009, with the Reds.