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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The Texans didn't have an answer for Derrick Henry. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel made a valorous call that might have costed the Houston Texans from winning their second consecutive game on Sunday. Up by seven with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Crennel decided to call a two-point conversion following Deshaun Watson's one-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

During the two-point conversion, Watson had a look at an open Randall Cobb, but Titans' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got a hand on the ball to deflect the pass. The failed conversion allowed the Titans to take a 42-36 victory over the Texans inside Nissan Stadium. Tennessee scored 13 unanswered points, which included a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown to send the game into overtime.

"I think I would do it again," Crennel said during his media availability on Monday. "You are on the road against a divisional opponent who is undefeated, and if you could get that two-point conversion — you shut the door on them. We had a guy open, but unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we did not make it. I would do it again because it was a good choice."

The decision to not kick the field goal caused somewhat of an uproar, but it is understandable why Crennel made the call. Crennel had faith in Watson to put the Texans in a position to close the game, similar to his 4th-and-4 call during last week's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, Crennel's risky decisions could stem from the lack of faith he has in the Texans' depleted defense.

Houston's defense hit an all-time low against the Titans. They gave up a franchise-worst 601 total yards — with Derrick Henry accounting for 212 yards on 22 carries. But despite their struggles against the run, the Texans' secondary were just as faulty. They gave up a total of 338 yards through the air and allowed Tannehill to go 8-for-9 down the field during the Titans' final drive of regulation.

Had Houston's defense made a stop during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Texans could have ended the game 2-0 under their interim head coach.

"I wanted to go ahead and get the two points — I felt like that would have put the game out of reach for them," Crennel said. "If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. But we did not get it. We did not perform well in overtime, and they [Titans] won the game."

Following Sunday's heartbreaking loss, Texans safety Justin Reid said it best, "Had we converted on the two-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."

Up next, the 1-5 Texans will look to bounce back from defeat against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers, inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM CT.

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