Astros get a walk-off win over Mariners

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

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 2-1 win
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Astros were still at home Friday night, looking to start a new series with the Mariners on a better foot than they ended their last with the Pirates. Here is a rundown of the first of three games with Seattle:

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 2, Mariners 1.

Record: 51-32, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Will Harris (2-1, 1.20 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Matt Festa (0-2, 4.67 ERA).

1) Miley does his part

Wade Miley was able to provide the Astros with a strong start on Friday night to keep them close in the game and give the offense a chance to take and hold a lead. Although Miley would work in and out of trouble a couple of times over his innings, the only real damage he allowed was a solo home run in the top of the third which gave Seattle a 1-0 lead.

Wade would go on to finish six innings while just allowing that one run, getting plenty of help on defense behind him while he induced a lot of soft contact. He would, unfortunately, not be able to get a win out of his quality start. Miley's final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.

2) Relief pitching keeps it close

After Miley's night ended, the bullpen came in and was able to keep it a one-run game to give Houston's offense plenty of chances to tie or go ahead. Josh James pitched a scoreless seventh despite loading the bases with two outs, then Ryan Pressly had a 1-2-3 eighth.

After finally getting a run on the board to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, Houston sent out their closer Roberto Osuna to keep the game tied in the top of the ninth. He would do just that, getting a scoreless frame with two strikeouts to give the offense a chance to walk it off in the bottom half.

After coming up empty in the bottom of the ninth, Will Harris took over to start extra innings and worked around a leadoff single in the top of the tenth to keep the tie intact going to the bottom of the inning.

3) Offense does just enough

After looking mostly helpless on offense through the first seven innings, the Astros still had just a one-run deficit to overcome in the eighth. Things continued to look dreary until Josh Reddick delivered a two-out solo home run to tie the game and help shift the momentum back in favor of the Astros.

After getting a scoreless top of the ninth from Osuna, Myles Straw led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Marisnick. He'd be stranded there, though, sending the game to extra innings.

Yuli Gurriel would play hero in the bottom of the tenth, hitting a one-out solo home run to win the game.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will be nationally televised on FOX tomorrow night with first pitch at 7:15 PM. Justin Verlander (10-3, 2.67 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston looking to continue his great season as he goes opposite of Yusei Kikuchi (4-5, 5.11 ERA) for Seattle.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Allen had high praise for Diggs. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images.

Impersonal as it might seem to have their dynamic on-field relationship end with an exchange of phone texts, Bills quarterback Josh Allen made it clear on Thursday how much receiver Stefon Diggs meant to him during their four seasons together in Buffalo.

Allen made no mention of Diggs’ mercurial temperament or the occasional sideline flare-ups by expressing only praise in his first opportunity to discuss his now-former teammate being traded to the Houston Texans earlier this month.

“Just thanking him for everything that he did for me, and (I’ll) always have a spot in my heart for him. I’ll always love that guy like a brother. And I wish him nothing but the best,” Allen said, in disclosing what he texted to Diggs. “My lasting memory of Stef will be the receiver that helped me become the quarterback that I am today.”

Brought together in March 2020, when Buffalo gave up a first-round draft pick to acquire Diggs in a trade with Minnesota, the duo went on to re-write many of Buffalo's single-season passing and scoring records, and lead the team to four straight AFC East titles.

Diggs, now 30, also brought an inescapable sense of drama with him in raising questions about his commitment to the Bills and whether his tight relationship with Allen had soured.

A day before being traded, Diggs posted a message, “You sure?” on the social media platform X in response to someone suggesting he wasn’t essential to Allen’s success.

Whatever hard feelings, if any, lingered as Buffalo opened its voluntary workout sessions this week were not apparent from Allen or coach Sean McDermott, who also addressed reporters for the first time since Diggs was traded.

“Stef’s a great player, really enjoyed our time together. Won a lot of games and he was a huge factor in winning those games. We’ll miss him,” McDermott said. “You never replace a player like Stef Diggs, and we wish him well.”

Allen turned his focus to the future and a Bills team that spent much of the offseason retooling an aging and expensive roster.

Aside from trading Diggs, salary cap restrictions led to Buffalo cutting respected center Mitch Morse, the breakup of a veteran secondary that had been together since 2017, and the team unable to afford re-signing No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis.

“I don’t think it’s a wrong thing or a bad thing to get younger,” said Allen, entering his seventh NFL season. “I think it’s an opportunity for myself to grow as a leader. And to bring along some of these young guys and new guys that we’ve brought in to our team. And that’s an opportunity, frankly, that I’m very excited about."

Despite the departures, the Bills offense is not exactly lacking even though general manager Brandon Beane is expected to target selecting a receiver with his first pick — currently 28th overall — in the draft next week.

Receiver Khalil Shakir enters his third year and tight end Dalton Kincaid enter his second following promising seasons. Buffalo also added veteran experience in signing free agent receiver Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

While Beane acknowledged the Bills lack a true No. 1 receiver, he noted there’s less urgency to fill that spot now than in 2020 because of how much the offense has developed under Allen.

“Now that Josh has ascended to the player he is, is that a requirement? I don’t think so,” Beane said.

Diggs’ role also began diminishing in the second half of last season, which coincided with Joe Brady replacing Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator. Brady placed an emphasis on adding balance to a pass-heavy attack and getting more receivers involved, which led to an uptick in production for Shakir and Kincaid.

While Diggs’ numbers dropped, Buffalo’s win total increased.

With the Bills at 6-6, Diggs ranked third in the NFL with 83 catches, seventh with 969 yards and tied for third with eight TDs receiving. Buffalo then closed the season with five straight wins in which Diggs combined for 24 catches for 214 yards and no scores.

”(Diggs) meant a lot. You look at the statistics, they don’t lie,” Allen said, in referring to Diggs topping 100 catches and 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons in Buffalo. “I don’t get paid to make changes on the team. I get paid to be the best quarterback that I can be and try to lead the guys on this team.”

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