Astros complete sweep of Mariners for ninth straight win

Astros daily report: Astros 3, Mariners 2

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After locking up the series win on Saturday, the Astros looked for the sweep and their ninth straight win on Sunday afternoon. Here's how things shook out:

Final Score: Astros 3, Mariners 2

Record: 11-5, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (1-2).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Brennan (1-1).

Star of the game: Michael Brantley was the only Astro able to get a hit off of Marco Gonzalez through the first five innings, then came through with one of the biggest hits of the day with his game-tying two-run single. He finished the day two for four with the two RBIs.

Notes: Seattle extended their crazy streak of consecutive games with a home run by taking a 1-0 lead on a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning off of Gerrit Cole. They extended their lead to 2-0 with a couple of doubles in the third. Meanwhile, Houston was only able to get one hit off of Marco Gonzalez through the first five innings. In the top of the sixth, they'd load the bases with one out after three singles, bringing Michael Brantley to the plate who came through in the clutch with a two-RBI single to tie the game. Despite the two runs allowed, Cole still had another good outing, finishing six innings with eleven strikeouts and the two runs on four hits and no walks. The Astros took their first lead of the day in the top of the seventh thanks to a line drive solo homer from Aledmys Diaz, making it 3-1 Houston. Hector Rondon was first out of the pen and worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, followed by Ryan Pressly who did the same in the eighth. Roberto Osuna came in for the ninth and preserved the one-run lead for his seventh save of the season, pushing the Astros to nine straight wins and completing the series sweep.

Up Next: Houston will get the day off tomorrow before starting a short two-game series against Oakland on Tuesday night. First pitch will be at 9:07 PM and will feature Collin McHugh for the Astros going up against Franke Montas for the A's.

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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