Roughnecks 34, Vipers 27

5 Take Aways From The Roughnecks 1st Road Win


QB Talk: PJ Walker will forever be the first name to start off any Roughnecks XFL article. The Houston MVP is a master at escaping pressure with ease and airing the ball all over. A play gone wrong late in the second quarter was turned into a TD by Walker.

On the flip side, Taylor Cornelius is really BAD. I'm pretty sure him and Jameis Winston not only stink it up for Tampa QB reps, but they also share the same eyesight. Accuracy is rare. The Vipers finally decided it was time to put Flowers in. I mean… at least he throws to an actual target, right? The back and forth QB switch up did manage to throw off the Roughnecks D though, I'll give them that.

Defense: Well, Houston officially gave the Tampa Bay Vipers their first TD of the season. Unfortunately, that wasn't their first or worst mistake. The Roughnecks defense looked shaky the entire first half. Okay, that was me being nice. They looked like sh—. Penalties were an issue along with the huge concern when it comes to stopping the run. Quentin Flowers ran all over them. The outside also got burned by the blind QB1/2? A gain of 24 on a 4th down set the Vipers back up for another TD to finish off the third quarter and ice the cake on this defensive performance from Houston.

Lookout: The run game. This has been a struggle for June Jones and the Roughnecks offense all season. There was concern the first quarter but it finally took off. I expected a lot from James Butler this week and that's exactly what we got. I look forward to seeing a lot more of Butler as the season progresses.

Road Games: I don't think traveling on the road was a disadvantage to this team. If anything it was motivation. Going into Tampa against a team that started the season 0-2 was a plot twist. Even for me. We all knew the Vipers would come out playing their best game if they wanted to stay alive at all, we just didn't know they would put on such a good show. This is exactly why the XFL is so fun.

If you're looking for my fifth take away from this game, its simple. Uniforms. Let's take a moment of silence for the disgusting Tampa Bay uni's. Come on.

Your Houston Roughnecks are on the road again next Sunday against the Dallas Renegades at 4pm. We all know how much Houston loves Dallas.

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Houston's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

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