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

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Astros were back in action Friday night at home against the Red Sox, looking to flip the page from a disappointing end to the four-game series with the White Sox that ended in a split. Here is a recap of the first game of the weekend series with Boston:

Final Score: Astros 4, Red Sox 3

Record: 34-18, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (5-2, 3.21 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chris Sale (1-6, 4.19 ERA).

1) Springer back in the lineup, but exits late injured again

The Astros had one of the AL's best hitters back in the lineup on Friday night, putting George Springer back in the leadoff spot against Chris Sale after missing four games with back stiffness. It wasn't Springer who got the offense going, though, with Aledmys Diaz getting a single in the second then scoring on an error to put Houston on the board 1-0. Jake Marisnick doubled that score with a solo homer in the bottom of the third.

Houston added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, one on an RBI-groundout by Jake Marisnick, his second RBI of the night, then after an error during that same play moved Josh Reddick to third, Springer took advantage with a sac fly to make it a 4-0 lead.

Springer would exit the game later, though, after sliding in foul territory racing after a foul ball, injuring his leg. He limped to the dugout before slamming his glove down in frustration, though it's not clear how severe the injury is yet.

2) Miley on a mission 

Wade Miley had a good night on the mound, especially against a potent Boston lineup. Miley was perfect through three innings and did not allow a hit until the fourth. He got into some trouble in the fifth, loading the bases with one out after a couple of singles and a walk, but answered back to leave the bases loaded and get out of the jam.

Back on the mound in the sixth, Boston was able to get on the board with a solo home run to make it a 4-1 game, but Miley would finish the inning and still finish with a great line: 6 innings pitched, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, and 8 strikeouts, the most in a start he's had dating all the way back to June 2017.

3) Harris, Pressly, and Osuna pull out the win

With Miley's night done after six one-run innings, Houston went to their bullpen starting with Will Harris in the seventh. Harris retired Boston in order for a 1-2-3 inning, setting up Ryan Pressly to take over in the eighth. Pressly would give up his first earned run in 39 innings and 40 appearances in the top of the eighth, a solo home run to trim the lead to 4-2. Pressly would struggle slightly after that, allowing two runners on a single and walk, but would leave them stranded as he would go on to strike out the side.

Roberto Osuna took the mound in the ninth, looking to continue his save streak. He'd do so, finishing out the win despite allowing a solo home run to get Boston within a run at 4-3.

Up Next: Game two of this series between Houston and Boston will get underway with first pitch at 6:15 PM tomorrow. The Astros will have Brad Peacock (5-2, 3.59 ERA) on the mound looking for his fourth straight win, but he'll have to do so by beating out David Price (2-2, 3.29 ERA) who will be on the mound for the Red Sox.

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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