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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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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