Astros drop the middle game to Cleveland

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 10-4 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a huge trade deadline in the books which came to a peak when it was announced that the Astros had traded for Zack Greinke, Houston got back to work on Wednesday night for the middle game of the series against the Indians. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: Indians 10, Astros 4.

Record: 69-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zach Plesac (6-3, 3.41 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jose Urquidy (1-1, 5.87 ERA).

1) Urquidy takes a step back

After back-to-back quality starts from Jose Urquidy, he was on the mound to make it three straight against a tough Indians lineup on Wednesday night. Instead, he would lose the battle and regress from his recent success. He allowed a lot of traffic on the bases, recording no 1-2-3 innings in the start.

Putting baserunners on resulted in big blows two times in the start for Urquidy, who would allow three-run home runs in the second and fifth innings, erasing one-run leads that Houston had accumulated both times.

Houston would remove him before recording an out in the fifth, making it a short and disappointing night. His final line: 4 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR. Chris Devenski was brought in to complete the fifth inning.

2) Houston's offense unable to dig out of the hole

As mentioned, Houston had worked their way to leads twice in the game with Urquidy on the mound. First, they moved to a 1-0 lead after a solo home run by Carlos Correa in the top of the second. Then, after loading the bases in the third, Yuli Gurriel put an exclamation point on his terrific month with a bases-clearing double to make it 4-3 at the time.

They threatened in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs but would come away empty. Meanwhile, the Indians tacked on to their lead to put things out of reach by getting four more runs on two homers against Collin McHugh in the bottom half of the inning, extending their lead to 10-4.

While Houston would get scoreless innings from Cy Sneed in the seventh and Bryan Abreu, making his MLB debut, in the eighth, the Astros would be unable to mount a comeback, dropping the middle game of the series.

Up Next: The series finale and rubber match between Houston and Cleveland will be tomorrow night with another 6:10 PM start. Houston will send Gerrit Cole (12-5, 2.94 ERA) to the mound to try and extend his recent hot streak and win the series, while Cleveland is expected to start Danny Salazar who will be making his first start since 2017 after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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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.

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