Astros hold on to win the series opener with Detroit

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 5-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston's recent road trip was a disappointing one, finishing 4-6 over the ten-game span that was meant to be full of easy wins. They did, however, finish it with a win in Oakland to take the sting out of it slightly, giving them something to build on in the first game of a ten-game home stand. First up was a four-game series with the Tigers. Here is a quick recap of the opener from Monday night:

Final Score: Astros 5, Tigers 4.

Record: 80-46, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (12-4, 3.18 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Edwin Jackson (3-6, 8.46 ERA).

1) Miley works in and out of trouble over 5.2 innings

Wade Miley's night did not start as planned; he allowed four consecutive singles to begin the night, giving Detroit an early 1-0 lead. After a 1-2-3 second, he would struggle with the top of Detroit's order again, allowing a couple of singles and a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 4-2.

He settled in over the next couple of innings, working around two singles in the fourth to strike out the side and followed that with two more strikeouts in a scoreless fifth. He returned to start the top of the sixth inning with his pitch count nearing 100 and would get two quick outs before allowing a solo home run followed by a single, prompting a call to the bullpen to end his night.

Hector Rondon was able to get the third out of the sixth, completing Miley's pitching line. That line: 5.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HR.

2) Astros get a big four-run first inning, but Carlos Correa injures his back

Houston wasted no time getting after Edwin Jackson, getting an RBI-single from Yordan Alvarez and two-RBI double by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the first. Gurriel would score on an error in the next at-bat, putting the Astros up 4-1 through one.

Carlos Correa must have tweaked something during his at-bat in that first inning, as between innings he was removed from the game with the designation of back discomfort. The Astros were held to their initial four runs until the fifth when Robinson Chirinos extended the lead to 5-2 with a sacrifice fly.

3) Houston holds on late to win

After finishing the sixth, Hector Rondon stayed in the game for the top of the seventh but was met with a leadoff solo homer to start the inning and make it a one-run Houston lead. He would go on to complete the inning with a couple of strikeouts.

Will Harris took over on the mound in the top of the eighth and was able to work around a two-out walk and broken-bat single to get Houston three outs away from the win. With the score still 5-4 going to the top of the tenth, Houston went to their closer Roberto Osuna who was able to earn another save by working around a one-out double.

Up Next: The second matchup of this four-game set will take place Tuesday at 7:10 PM. Aaron Sanchez (5-14, 5.79 ERA) will get the start for Houston and attempt to replicate the success of his first two starts with Houston and distance himself from the poor performance of his third and most recent one. He will go up against Spencer Turnbull (3-11, 3.75 ERA) for Detroit.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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