Astros complete the sweep of the Mariners

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 3-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the four-pitcher combined no-hitter the day before secured them the series win, Houston sent Justin Verlander to the mound to complete the clean sweep. Here is a rundown of the series finale with the Mariners:

Final Score: Astros 3, Mariners 1.

Record: 73-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (15-4, 2.68 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Tommy Milone (1-6, 4.33 ERA).

1) Just another day at the office for Verlander

While he didn't throw a no-hitter like his four teammates did the day before, it was another typically terrific day for Justin Verlander. He did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, which was Seattle's first hit since Friday night's game. He also allowed a two-out triple in the top of the fifth but would strand that runner as well.

Along the way, Verlander recorded yet another double-digit strikeout game, surpassing 200 on the season to join his teammate Gerrit Cole as the only pitchers in the league to accomplish that so far in 2019. Seattle did tag him with a run, a solo shot to lead off the seventh.

That would do it for him in this start, as he was sitting with 98 pitches after that home run. Verlander's final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HR.

2) Finishing the sweep

Along the way, Houston's offense had gotten two runs of support for Verlander. The first came in the bottom of the fourth after Alex Bregman led the inning off with a single, moved to third on a Jose Altuve double, then scored on an RBI-single by Carlos Correa. Bregman would come around to score again in the sixth; he hit a one-out double before moving to third on a wild pitch then scoring on a sacrifice fly by Yordan Alvarez to extend the lead to 2-0.

With Verlander's day over after the solo home run to start the seventh to cut the lead to 2-1, Joe Smith came in from the bullpen and worked around a one-out single to maintain the one-run advantage. Houston pushed it back to two runs in the bottom half of the inning, getting a one-out single by Jake Marisnick who stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick, making it 3-1.

Will Harris was next out of the bullpen to take over in the eighth, and he recorded a 1-2-3 inning. Roberto Osuna came in to close things out in the ninth and did so with a scoreless inning. The win completed the sweep, gave Houston five straight series wins, and made them winners in fourteen of their last seventeen games.

Up Next: Houston will get a day off tomorrow at home before starting a two-game series with the Rockies at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night. The first of the two games will begin at 7:10 PM and will be the debut of Zack Greinke (10-4, 2.90 ERA) for the Astros. The Rockies are expected to counter with German Marquez (10-5, 4.68 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Texans fall to 1-6. Photo by Getty Images

Don't you worry, son. It will all be over soon.

- Teddy KGB, Rounders

The Texans horrible season continued on Sunday when they were soundly beaten by the Green Bay Packers. The Texans got some garbage points to make the score look better late, but they were never in this. They could not run the football, and even though he had a receiving score, maybe it's time the David Johnson experiment ended. Aaron Rodgers ate their souls with four touchdown passes and the Texans fell to 1-6. Five thoughts on the game:

1) First impressions? Not so much. For the seventh time this season, the Texans failed to score on their opening drive. They had ONE touchdown last season on their opening drive, week 17 against the Titans. While Bill O'Brien still gets a lot of that blame, Tim Kelly is now 0 for 3 as an OC. Whoever takes over next season has to fix this. Especially against good teams, the Texans simply can't afford to get down early. They were down 21-0 at the half and never had a real chance.

2) There is good news! Hopefully this lets the team know that there is no chance of anything this season. With the trade deadline looming, any veteran not named Watson or Tunsil should be available for draft picks. It remains unlikely they will do anything, but they have some pieces that might bring a return. Hopefully they no longer think the season can be salvaged.

3) They really aren't close against good teams. The little things continue to be a problem. Key penalties to hurt drives; untimely failures on third down. The offense has to do a better job staying on the field, because the defense just is not good enough to stop solid offenses. Things got worse when their best corner, Bradley Roby went out with injury. Overall, the Packers were better on both sides of the ball, and they made the Texans look bad throughout. The Texans needed some breaks to go their way in order to be competitive, like what happened last week against Tennessee. That didn't happen, and they were never in the game.

4) They won special teams! They blocked a punt in the fourth quarter that helped make the final score a little closer. They also blocked a kick last week. Other than their overpaid kicker (who missed a field goal), the special teams have been solid. Their punter might be the best player at his job on the entire team. So there's that. A positive, right?

5) The future? Meh. The Texans get the Jaguars, Browns and Patriots next, so they should have a chance at some wins, but they could also lose to all three of those teams. And with no high draft pick reward at the end of the year, there is little left to play or root for in this season.

With nine games left, you would like to think there was something left to care about. But if it isn't over yet, it's as Teddy said: It will all be over soon.

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