Houston loses fourth straight in extra innings

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

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston was in Oakland on Friday night for game two of the four-game series against the A's. They had Justin Verlander on the mound as they attempted to end their three-game skid and get things back on track. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: A's 3, Astros 2.

Record: 78-45, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Lou Trevino (4-5, 4.85 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Cy Sneed (0-1, 4.26 ERA).

1) Verlander with another quality start

After his four earned run outing against Baltimore last Sunday, Justin Verlander needed one of his typical dominant starts to rebound and get back on track. He looked in command for most of the night, peppering the zone with strikes to rack up strikeouts all through the night.

Unfortunately, two of the four hits he allowed were solo home runs, which tainted his otherwise terrific night, though he would work his way up to another double-digit strikeout night with seven innings pitched. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 2 HR.

2) Offense held in check until the sixth

While Verlander was working his way through seven two-run innings, Houston's offense was held scoreless until the sixth inning. In the top of the sixth, Michael Brantley hit a one-out double before the Astros loaded the bases. Carlos Correa put Houston on the board with a sacrifice fly, then Yuli Gurriel put Houston ahead 2-1 at the time with an RBI-single but was thrown out trying to advance to second, ending in the inning.

With Verlander's night done after seven innings, Ryan Pressly was first out of Houston's bullpen to throw the bottom of the eighth inning. He worked around a two-out walk, sending the tied game to the ninth. Houston came up empty in the top of the inning, resulting in Roberto Osuna coming in for the bottom half to try and send the game to extra innings. Osuna did his job, retiring the A's in order, giving the Astros another chance to win the game.

3) Houston loses in extras

Despite getting two runners on, the Astros were unable to score in the top half of the tenth. Will Harris gave them another chance, getting a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to push the game one inning further. The two teams would come up with another scoreless inning in the eleventh, with the middle of Houston's order unable to get anything going then Joe Smith shutting down Oakland in the bottom half.

In the twelfth inning, the Astros were again retired in order in the top of the inning while in the bottom half Hector Rondon allowed a leadoff double. Oakland was able to move the runner to third, but Rondon would get out of it and send the game to another inning.

While Houston was able to get some runners on base in the top of the thirteenth, they would again come away empty. Cy Sneed attempted to send the game to the fourteenth but instead allowed the walk-off hit to lose the game.

Up Next: The third game of this series will be on Saturday with a 3:05 PM Central start. The Astros will get a fill-in start from Rogelio Armenteros (1-0, 1.93 ERA) as Tuesday's doubleheader along with Gerrit Cole's injury has left a hole in Houston's rotation, while Oakland is expected to start Chris Bassitt (8-5, 3.56 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

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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