Astros demolish Orioles for eighth straight win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 23-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After holding off the Orioles for their seventh-straight win in the series opener on Friday night, Houston had the chance to make it eight straight and secure another series win with a victory on Saturday night. Here's a quick rundown of the middle game:

Final Score: Astros 23, Orioles 2.

Record: 77-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Aaron Sanchez (5-14, 5.60 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Aaron Brooks (2-6, 6.35 ERA).

1) Clear for liftoff 

After being held to just three runs the night before, Houston's offense had their way with Baltimore on Saturday night. It started in the top of the first when Alex Bregman got the scoring started with a two-out two-run home run. On the very next pitch, Yordan Alvarez extended the early lead to 3-0 with a solo home run of his own.

They did even better in the top of the second, getting a five-run inning on RBIs from Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick, a two-run homer for Jose Altuve, and scoring on a balk. They scored again in the top of the third, a monster 474-foot home run by Carlos Correa to push the lead to 9-1. They didn't hold back there, putting up another four-run inning in the top of the fifth with RBIs from Correa and Yuli Gurriel and two for George Springer, extending the lead to 13-1.

2) Sanchez gets another win 

While his offense was bludgeoning pitchers on the other side, Aaron Sanchez was able to put together another decent start himself for his new team. It wasn't a six-inning no-hitter like his debut, but he was able to hold the Orioles to just one run over five innings of work.

The run came in the first inning, a rough one for Sanchez as he would load the bases with one out. He allowed a sacrifice fly to trim the lead to 3-1 at the time but would end the threat there. He faced more traffic in the second inning after a couple of walks and an error but would do well to keep the Orioles to just one run on the board.

After that, he was able to record three clean innings, allowing just one hit during that span on a two-out double in the fifth. The five innings put him in line for another win, making it two straight for his new team. Sanchez's final line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

3) Bullpen finishes the last four frames while runs keep scoring

With Sanchez's night done after five innings, Houston looked to their bullpen to maintain the massive lead over the final four frames. First up was Hector Rondon who took over for Sanchez in the sixth inning. He worked around a couple of hits to keep it a thirteen-run lead.

Houston was not done scoring in this one, though, getting another run in the top of the sixth to make it 14-1, then making it their highest-scoring game of the year with a six-run top of the seventh. They scored the first two on RBIs from Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick, then loaded the bases for Yordan Alvarez who blasted his second homer of the night, this one a grand slam to push Houston ahead to an incredible 20-1 lead.

Joe Smith was the next reliever out for Houston, taking over in the 20-1 game in the bottom of the seventh. He allowed a two-out solo home run to make it 20-2 but would get through the inning to send the game to the eighth. Chris Devenski pitched a scoreless eighth, then after an RBI by Aledmys Diaz in the top of the ninth, Yordan Alvarez hit his third home run of the night to set a new franchise records in runs in a game and trying the record for hits, pushing the lead to 23-2.

Collin McHugh wrapped things off in the ninth, giving Houston their eighth straight win and seventh-straight series victory.

Up Next: Houston will attempt the sweep of this series with the finale scheduled for 12:05 PM Central on Sunday. The Astros will send ace Justin Verlander (15-4, 2.68 ERA) to the mound with hopes to continue his march towards a Cy Young award, while the Orioles are expected to counter with Asher Wojciechowski (2-5, 4.89 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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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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