Houston has won three straight

Astros' bats erupt against the Angels to secure series win

Houston's bats teed off on Saturday. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After taking the first two games of this series, including in dramatic fashion with a three-run tenth-inning rally for the walk-off win Friday night, the Astros tried to make it a three-game winning streak and secure the series with a victory over the Angels on Saturday.

They would get the win, and dominantly, as their offense would explode throughout the day to back up an impressive debut by Kent Emanuel:

Final Score: Astros 16, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 10-10, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Kent Emanuel (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Griffin Canning (1-2)

Odorizzi exits with injury, Emanuel impresses in his impromptu debut

The ballgame would start with some misfortune for Houston, as after just one batter and one out, Jake Odorizzi would exit with forearm tightness. That set up Kent Emanuel for his major-league debut. He would give up two solo home runs, one to the Astros-terrorizing Albert Pujols in the top of the second and one to Shohei Ohtani in the top of the third.

Emanuel would settle in well after those early homers, retiring ten batters in a row after the Ohtani homer keeping Los Angeles at bay, heading to the seventh inning. In the top of the seventh, he erased a leadoff single for another scoreless frame, then followed that up with a scoreless eighth. He came back out for the ninth, and despite the first two batters reaching base, would finish off the impressive debut: 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 90 P.

Houston's offense erupts

Luckily for him, though, Houston's offense was doing damage against Griffin Canning over that same span. Carlos Correa set the tone early with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the first before Houston would put up two more runs to grab an early lead. The top of the order repeated their success in the bottom of the third, with Correa and Michael Brantley reaching base to set up a three-run homer by Alex Bregman to make it a four-run lead at 6-2.

They kept punishing Los Angeles' pitchers in the bottom of the fourth, batting around the order and putting up four more runs on RBI hits by Jason Castro and Yuli Gurriel, extending the lead to 10-2. The train kept moving in the next inning, with a three-RBI triple by Yordan Alvarez to make it an eleven-run game, 13-2.

With the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth, Los Angeles brought in a position player to try and get through the rest of the game on the mound. Kyle Tucker took advantage, launching a two-run opposite-field homer to make it 15-2 before Jason Castro would bring in another in the inning, making it a fourteen-run lead, which would go down as the final score to give Houston a three-game winning streak.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series will be Sunday at 1:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 5.27 ERA), who had to miss his last scheduled start with illness, will be back on the mound for Houston, going opposite of Dylan Bundy (0-2, 4.50 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans started fast but faltered late as the New York Jets hand Houston their ninth loss of the season 21-14. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Starting safety Justin Reid was benched for the game. David Culley said after the game it was his decision as head coach and he would keep the matter internal with Reid.

2. This is the third defender benched for disciplinary reasons this season. Reid joins Zach Cunningham and Desmond King as players who missed time for discipline.

3. Justin Reid told Fox 26 he was benched because he had a disagreement with the coaching staff. He also said he was shocked the Texans benched him. You have to wonder if the “culture” the team is building is right when one of the more likable and personable players falls victim to their rules. Reid, who is a free agent this offseason, could leave the Texans.

4. Tyrod Taylor had a couple of nice plays early on for the Texans. His willingness to take some shots downfield was refreshing and led to a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

5. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan found the end zone. He has played well in recent weeks after finally getting on the field. Jordan is playing over Jordan Akins as Akins was a healthy scratch again this week.

6. Tytus Howard started at left tackle with mixed results. Howard has struggled to find his way at guard but could be a long-term option at tackle if given the chance.

7. The offensive line overall played poorly after some early success. The pass rush of the Jets got going and the run blocking was poor again. Lane Taylor played at left guard some, with Max Scharping also playing some at that spot.

8. The offense was horrendous after the two scoring drives. The Texans amassed 202 net yards with 91 yards coming on those two scoring drives. Houston gained just 49 net yards after their opening three drives.

9. After the game, I asked David Culley if he would be making a change with his play-caller. Culley stood behind offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and said he would remain the team’s play-caller.

10. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock had two horrible errors that handed the Jets a chance to turn three points into seven points. Blacklock got a personal foul on a field goal attempt giving the Jets a first down. The very next play his offsides penalty erased a sack. Each week Blacklock falls even more behind a bevy of players drafted after him who contribute positively on a regular basis.

11. The loss to another bottom-dweller has the Texans back in the second spot in the 2022 NFL Draft order. It also feels like the deflating nature of this loss erased some of the good feelings after the victory over the Titans. The Indianapolis Colts come to Houston next week to begin December’s portion of the schedule.

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