Astros complete the sweep for sixth straight win

Astros daily report: Astros 8, Yankees 6

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston was looking to make it a clean sweep on Wednesday night against the Yankees. Here's how the game panned out:

Final Score: Astros 8, Yankees 6

Record: 8-5, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Collin McHugh (2-1).

Losing pitcher: James Paxton (1-2).

Star of the game: No surprise here, Jose Altuve hammered two solo homers tonight to make it three straight games with a home run, proving that he's completely back in the zone after his late-season injuries last year held him back.

Notes: The Yankees came out swinging early, getting a game-leadoff home run off of Collin McHugh to take an immediate 1-0 advantage. The Astros responded right away, though, with Jose Altuve getting a solo home run to make it three straight games and tie things up at 1-1 before Yuli Gurriel put Houston in front 2-1 with an RBI-triple. Carlos Correa extended the lead further in the bottom of the third, knocking a ball to the right field fence for an RBI to make it 3-1. The Yankees battled back, getting a couple of no-out hits in the top of the fifth, followed by a sac fly to trim the lead to one at 3-2, but McHugh did well to limit the damage there and keep Houston ahead. Altuve struck again in the bottom of the fifth, another solo shot to make it 4-2. The train kept moving in that inning, with Carlos Correa blasting a two-run home run of his own to extend the lead to 6-2, then Jake Marisnick getting a two-out RBI-single to make it 7-2.

McHugh would finish six innings of two-run baseball, getting nine strikeouts in another good showing in his early season. Chris Devenski pitched a scoreless seventh, then Josh James took over in the eighth, allowing a two-run home run to get the Yankees within three at 7-4 and put two more on base without recording an out. That prompted A.J. Hinch to go to Hector Rondon, who would also struggle, allowing a single and sac fly to get the Yankees within one at 7-6. Ryan Pressly entered to get the last out of the eighth and ended the Yankees rally for that inning. The offense provided some insurance in the bottom of the inning with Marisnick leading things off with a single then scoring on an RBI from George Springer to give a little cushion at 8-6, making things somewhat less stressful for Pressly who came back in for the save in the ninth.

Up next: The Astros will get the day off tomorrow before starting a big three-game series against the division-leading Mariners on the road in Seattle this weekend. Friday night's game will get underway at 9:10 PM Central and will feature Wade Miley on the mound for Houston opposite Wade LeBlanc for Seattle.

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5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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