Astros power past the Mariners for fifth straight win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 11-5 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston took the first game of this four-game set on Monday night and looked to take game two and extend their winning streak to five games with a victory on Tuesday. Here's the result of the game:

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 5.

Record: 42-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Reymin Guduan (1-0, 6.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Brennan (2-4, 3.94 ERA).

1) Offenses trade blows, Astros get the KO 

It was an exchange of solo home runs early in the game, starting with Tony Kemp who put Houston ahead 1-0 with one in the top of the third. Seattle answered with one of their own to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the same inning, but Robinson Chirinos would break the tie right away in the top of the fourth with a crushed solo homer, make it 2-1 Astros.

Houston extended that lead in the top of the fifth on three-straight doubles including RBI-doubles for Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley, making it a 4-1 lead. The lead would not last long, though, as the Mariners would trim the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth then load the bases to set up a go-ahead bases-clearing double to put the Astros behind 5-4.

Houston would put together a big top of the seventh to erase the deficit, getting RBIs from Derek Fisher, Yuli Gurriel, and another for Bregman to grab a two-run lead at 7-5. They kept the scoring going in the eighth, knocking in four more runs to get to double-digits after an RBI-single from Myles Straw, another RBI for Bregman on a sac fly, and a two-RBI double for Jake Marisnick, extending the lead to 11-5.

2) Miley goes five 

Wade Miley started the game with five relatively strong innings, allowing just one run which came on a solo home run to tie the game 1-1 at the time. Miley returned to the mound for the sixth, but with a high pitch count and a close game was pulled after starting the inning with a walk and single. Those two runners in the sixth would eventually score, giving Miley a couple of extra earned runs. His final line – 5 IP, 3H, 3R, 3 BB, 6 K.

Josh James was first out of the bullpen, but after getting two outs would falter and allow an RBI-single then walk to load the bases, ending his appearance quickly. Next out was Reymin Guduan, called up just today to replace Corbin Martin who was optioned down to AAA after his recent struggles. Guduan would have his own issues, allowing the go-ahead three-RBI double which gave Miley an additional earned run on the night and two to James.

3) Harris, Devenski, Rodgers finish things off

After Seattle put together the big sixth inning, Will Harris would be next out of the bullpen to take over in the seventh and was able to work around a walk for a scoreless frame. Chris Devenski replaced Harris in the eighth, and thanks to a homerun-robbing catch by Josh Reddick was able to send the 11-5 game to the ninth.

In the ninth, Brady Rodgers made his second appearance after his 2019 debut on May 22nd where he went two innings while allowing a run. Tonight, though, he was asked for just one inning and would get it in scoreless fashion to cap off the win.

Up Next: The Astros and Mariners will have one more 9:10 PM start time in this series on Wednesday before an afternoon game on Thursday. Brad Peacock (5-2, 3.17 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston who will look to make it six straight wins with him on the bump. Mike Leake (4-6, 4.71 ERA) is the projected starter for Seattle.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March. Photo via: NRG Park/Facebook

Football players, coaches and general managers have come and gone, but only one person has been running the business side of the Texans, well, even before they were the Texans. Jamey Rootes has been President of the Houston Texans since 1999, when an NFL team in Houston was still just a gleam in owner Bob McNair's eyes. That's before the team adopted the name "Texans" in 2000, before there was NRG Stadium, which opened as Reliant Stadium in 2000, and before they became serial champs of the AFC South, six titles between 2011-2019.

The precise date was Oct. 6, 1999 when NFL owners voted 29-0 to award the NFL's 32nd and newest franchise to Houston. Not only that, Houston was awarded the 2004 Super Bowl. Rootes, 34 years old with no NFL experience, had his work cut out for him. Before taking the job in Houston, Rootes was team president, general manager and CEO of selling peanuts and popcorn for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

Major League Soccer, with all due respect, is not nearly a national obsession like the National Football League.

"I wasn't intimidated," Rootes said. "There's a quote that I love, 'Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.' I've always been a purpose-driven person. As for the step up to the NFL, I went from knowing nothing at the start of my time in Columbus to five years later thinking, OK, I've got this sports thing down. Actually, I had a very significant reduction in my responsibilities in Houston. When I was in Columbus, I ran the stadium, I ran the team's business, I was the general manager so I did the talent side of it, too. When I came to Houston, all I had to do was the business, so that was great."

Rootes has captured his remarkable journey from the soccer team at Clemson to grad school at Indiana University to the business world at IBM and Proctor & Gamble to the Clemson Crew, to ultimately being named President of the Houston Texans in his new book, The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success, available next week.

I've known Rootes from his day one with the Texans, but I still had to ask: everybody knows what the general manager does, and what the head coach does. What exactly does the President of an NFL team worth $3.3 billion do?

"I like to use the parallel of a pharmaceutical company to describe my job. There are two sides to that company. First you put scientists in one building and you leave them alone. They create products, which is what our football team is. The football side has a coach and general manager and all the people who prepare the team to play on Sunday. But getting that product to market is done by the business side, traditional business disciplines. Those are the things that fall to me. Basically, everything between the white lines is run by the football side. Everything outside of those lines, I do," Rootes said.

Between 1999 and 2002, when the Texans played their first game (let the record show the Texans defeated the Dallas Cowboy, 19-10), the team was essentially a massive start-up project. First orders of business for Rootes involved building a new stadium, developing relationships with suppliers, contractors and government officials, preparing for a Super Bowl and, most important, developing a relationship with fans.

Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March, but it's really an accumulation of lessons learned and behind-the-scenes stories about building the Texans from scratch into one of the most admired and valuable franchises in all of sports.

"I've always been a meticulous note-taker. I've kept every presentation I've ever done. I took all of my notes and concepts and put those down on paper," Rootes said. "To be a good leader, you need a wild imagination. You can show me a blank piece of paper, but I don't see it as blank. To me, it's a finished product that hasn't been created yet," Rootes said.

Rootes lays out his leadership strategy in seven chapters: Are You a Manager or a Leader, Get the Right People on Your Team, Build a Winning Culture, Create Raving Fans, a Winning Playbook for Adversity and Success, Your Leadership Playbook and Play to Win.

He learned lesson No. 1 the hard way. A friend once counseled Rootes, "your staff doesn't like the way you're all up in their business, you need to back off." Rootes took that advice to heart.

"It was an epiphany. I wasn't a leader. That's when I truly began thinking about leadership. I say this all the time, I don't do anything. All I do is create an environment where exceptional people can be their very best self. I know what's going on. I'm fully informed. I leave every game day exhausted. I get there early. I do the things I need to do. I kiss babies. I shake hands. I present checks. I entertain clients. I'm dialed in. It absolutely wears me out because I love this organization so much. I am so proud of what we've been able to do for this great city of Houston."

I asked Rootes, as someone who lives for Game Day and a packed NRG Stadium, are you devastated by 2020, the year of COVID-19 and small crowds limited by Centers for Disease Control guidelines?

"I don't look at it that way. I think there's a song by 10,000 Maniacs that said, these are the days that you'll remember. I told my staff, I know you're all going through hell right now, but later on in life, you'll talk about this year. Things that are important are memorable, for the positive and those things that leave a scar. You learn from adversity and you're a better person for enduring it. Victor Frankl said 'We can discover meaning in life in three different ways, by creating a work or doing a deed, experiencing something or encountering someone, and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.' Suffering is part of life. He should know, he survived a Nazi concentration camp," Rootes said.

H-E-B President Scott McClelland wrote the forward to The Winning Game Plan. Rootes dedicates the book to late Texans owner Bob McNair. Rootes' book is a fun read. All I kept thinking was, where was this book when I needed it? And before you buy too much into Rootes as a leader, consider that Rootes admits that he had to ask for wife Melissa's permission before he could accept the Texans job.

Personal note: I believe that a big part of leadership is the ability to keep a promise. Several years ago, I was riding my bicycle with my dog Lilly on a leash. It was the only way I could keep up with her. Well, one time Lilly saw a squirrel and pulled me off my bicycle. I tumbled a few times and rolled next to the curb. When I looked up, there was Jamey Rootes. I told him, "There's no need for you to tell anybody about this." He never said a word.

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