Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 2-0 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With their full, healthy lineup together in an AL park for the first time since the early season, the Astros tried to start the three-game series against the Indians with a win. Here is how their effort went:

Final Score: Astros 2, Indians 0.

Record: 69-39, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (14-4, 2.73 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Shane Bieber (10-4, 3.40 ERA).

1) Verlander wins the pitching battle 

The pitching matchup in the series opener was as advertised, with All-Stars Justin Verlander and Shane Bieber both making it tough for opposing lineups. However, Verlander was the winner of that battle, with another terrific start to add to his 2019 Cy Young bid.

Verlander allowed just two hits over his seven innings of work, a single in the third and another in the sixth. Those were the only two baserunners that Cleveland could manage against Verlander, who had his arsenal in absolute lock-down in the start.

He also recorded his second-highest strikeouts in a start this season, getting thirteen on the night. His final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K, 0 HR.

2) Two runs in the fifth are the difference

While the Astros were able to get hits against Shane Bieber, they would not be able to turn them into runs until the fifth inning. The first change in the scoreboard came by way of a solo home run by Robinson Chirinos with one out in the top of the inning.

With two outs, Jose Altuve moved to 3-for-3 on the night with a double, pushing his average above .300 at .301. That set up Michael Brantley, who was next to the plate, for an RBI-single to extend the lead to 2-0.

With Verlander's night done after seven two-hit innings, Will Harris took over on the mound in the eighth. He would get through that inning by retiring the Indians in order, then Roberto Osuna recorded his 24th save of the year in the ninth to close out the win.

Up Next: This series will continue tomorrow with another 6:10 PM start for game two of three between the Astros and Indians. Houston will send Jose Urquidy (1-0, 4.26 ERA) to the mound to try and build on his recent success and secure the series win, while Cleveland is expected to start Zach Plesac (5-3, 3.10 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome