Astros' winning streak snapped in final game in Boston

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-3 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With Houston taking the first two games of the series, they were looking to make it a sweep with a win on Sunday in Boston. Here are the quick facts then three hits from the game:

Final Score: Red Sox 4, Astros 3.

Record: 31-16, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Marcus Walden (6-0, 1.37 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (1-2, 4.42 ERA).

1) Miley only able to make it through five 

Wade Miley allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning, giving Boston an early 1-0 lead. He had a good three innings after that, keeping the Red Sox off the board in the second, third, and fourth innings. However, in the fifth, he ran into some trouble and allowed a solo home run then RBI-single to tie the game 3-3 at the time. His final line: 5 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), no walks, and two strikeouts. His day ending after five innings meant another longer outing for the bullpen.

2) Correa provides biggest hit of the day

The Astros loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, but would only be able to come away with one run on a wild pitch, tying the game 1-1 at the time. Alex Bregman led off the third with a walk, and Carlos Correa capitalized on the situation with a one-out two-run home run to put Houston ahead 3-1. Those would be the only RBIs of the day, though, with Chris Sale then Boston's bullpen keeping the Astros off the board the rest of the way.

3) Bullpen unable to hold Boston down 

Framber Valdez was first out of the bullpen for Houston, taking over for Miley in the bottom of the sixth inning. After a scoreless sixth, the Red Sox would break the tie with a go-ahead RBI-double off of Valdez in the bottom of the seventh, ending his appearance after five outs. Hector Rondon finished off the seventh, then stayed on for a scoreless eighth to send the game on to the ninth, where the offense would come up empty.

Up Next: The Astros will fly back to Houston tonight to start a ten-game homestand on Monday night. First up will be a four-game series with the White Sox, and the first of those four games will get underway at 7:10 PM Monday night. Houston will send Brad Peacock (4-2, 4.01 ERA) to the mound opposite of Manny Banuelos (2-3, 7.26 ERA) for Chicago.

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

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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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