Astros drop series finale to Boston

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-1 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the thrilling walk-off win on Saturday night, the Astros had Justin Verlander on the mound Sunday looking to sweep this series and make it a 5-1 season series with the Red Sox. Here's a rundown of the game:

Final Score: Red Sox 4, Astros 1

Record: 35-19, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Eduardo Rodriguez (5-3, 5.04 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Justin Verlander (8-2, 2.38 ERA).

1) Correa picks up where he left off

After driving in the winning run with a walk-off RBI-single the night before, Carlos Correa gave Houston their first run of the day in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI-single. That run would be the only one of the game for Houston, though, as they'd get just four hits during the afternoon.

2) Good, but not good enough for Verlander

Justin Verlander brought his 8-1 record and 2.24 ERA to the mound on Sunday but would have a mediocre start by his standards. Verlander allowed a couple of runs by his own doing, one on a sac fly in the third after a runner made it to third after a couple of wild pitches, Verlander's first of the year.

Boston took the lead in the fourth on a solo home run, then later would make it 3-1 by scoring on a couple of defensive errors for the Astros, giving Verlander three earned runs on the day. His final line: seven innings pitched, six hits, three runs, zero walks, and six strikeouts. The strikeouts moved him over 2,800 in his career, ending his day at 2,801 which is just two away from Cy Young who has 2,803 at number 22 on the all-time leaderboard.

Josh James was first out of Houston's bullpen and pitched a scoreless eighth, then Framber Valdez pitched the ninth during which Boston would extend the lead to 4-1 which would go down as the final score.

3) Diaz exits with yet another leg injury

Aledmys Diaz would exit the game after crossing home in the first inning, tweaking his hamstring and making yet another Houston player to go out with a leg issue. Tyler White would come in to cover first base allowing Yuli Gurriel to move to second, then later in the game Tony Kemp would pinch-hit and move to second and Gurriel back to first. It's unclear so far how much time Diaz will miss.

This injury would come just one day after catcher Max Stassi left a game with a knee issue, resulting in the call-up of Garret Stubbs to take over the second catcher's spot behind Robinson Chirinos.

Up Next: With this series in the books the Astros will finish this homestand with a three-game series with their old NL-Central rivals, the Cubs. They'll start the series with a Memorial Day game which will get started at 1:10 PM and feature pitchers Gerrit Cole (4.5, 4.11 ERA) for Houston and Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.38 ERA) for Chicago.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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