Royals crush the Astros to even series

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 12-2 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With one win under their belt from the night before, Houston looked to lock up the series on Tuesday night against the Royals. Here's a quick rundown of the game:

Final Score: Royals 12, Astros 2

Record: 21-15, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Danny Duffy (1-1, 3.06 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Collin McHugh (3-4, 6.37 ERA)

1) McHugh gets roughed up, as does Valdez

After a quick first inning, McHugh unraveled through the next few, allowing a solo home run in the second to put the Royals up 1-0, then an RBI-double and grand slam in the third to extend their lead to 6-0. McHugh would stay on the mound to start the fourth but would allow two more runners before recording an out, prompting a call to the bullpen. Chris Devenski would get through the fourth, but not before allowing those two inherited runners to score, bringing McHugh's total earned runs to 8 on the night.

Framber Valdez was next out of the bullpen to try and eat up some innings after Devenski, but he too would fall victim to Kansas City's bats as he allowed the second grand slam of the night in the seventh inning to put the Royals up 12-1, a deficit the Astros would obviously not overcome. Valdez would finish three innings to get the game to the ninth, where none other than Tyler White took over to throw a scoreless ninth.

2) Bregman and Springer provide the only runs

Even with the game out of reach, the Astros didn't phone it in in the late innings. Alex Bregman got Houston on the board, finally, with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. George Springer provided the only other run on the night with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.

Up Next: Houston and Kansas City will wrap up this series with another 7:10 PM start for the rubber game on Wednesday night. The Astros will have Brad Peacock (2-2, 5.28 ERA) on the mound to try and win the rubber match against Jorge Lopez (0-3, 5.09 ERA) for the Royals.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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