Astros cruise past the Royals for series sweep

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 12-3 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With the series victory already in hand, Houston looked for a sweep to continue decreasing their magic number as well as keep pace with the Yankees in the fight for postseason home-field advantage. Here is a quick rundown of the series finale with the Royals from Kansas City:

Final Score: Astros 12, Royals 3.

Record: 98-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jakob Junis (9-14, 5.24 ERA).

1) Miley gets back on track

Considering his last two starts which ended in disaster, the Astros needed a confidence boost in Wade Miley on Sunday, as he probably needed himself to get back on track. Although he allowed a run in the top of the first to put the Royals up 1-0, sparking memories of his inability to get through the first inning in recent starts, he would get through the inning.

While his offense built up a big lead behind him, Miley looked much more like his usual self in the rest of the start, getting through the next three innings scoreless. The Royals would get a few hits and another run off of Miley in the bottom of the fifth, but Miley would still finish six strong innings. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR.

2) Houston's offense gives him plenty of room to work with


One reason that Miley may have been able to relax and manage his game better: lots of runs behind him. Houston immediately erased the 1-0 deficit in the top of the second, getting a three-run inning on a solo home run by Yuli Gurriel and RBIs from Abraham Toro and Michael Brantley, going up 3-1.

Toro would account for two more runs in the next inning, getting a two-RBI double to extend the lead to 5-1. Josh Reddick added two more runs with a two-run homer in the top of the fifth, pushing the advantage to six runs at 7-1.

3) Houston's bullpen finishes off the sweep

Kansas City cut the lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth off of Wade Miley, but Houston would get some traffic on the bases in the top of the seventh to set up an RBI-groundout by Aledmys Diaz to make it 8-2. Josh James was first out of Houston's bullpen to take over for Wade Miley in the bottom of the seventh, and he worked around a leadoff single to maintain the six-run lead.

Kyle Tucker took advantage of a leadoff walk in front of him in the top of the eighth, blasting his second career home run to give Houston double-digits at 10-2, then later in the inning Myles Straw hit a pinch-hit RBI-triple then Josh Reddick recorded his fifth hit of the day on another RBI to make it 12-1.

Chris Devenski came in for the bottom of the eighth and was able to erase a two-out single to move the game to the ninth. Framber Valdez was brought in for the ninth to finish things off and despite allowing a run would complete the series sweep.

Up Next: Houston will travel back home and receive a day off on Monday. They'll resume play on Tuesday as the Rangers come to town for the final two games of the season series. In the first of the two games, the expected pitching matchup is Justin Verlander (18-6, 2.58 ERA) for the Astros and Lance Lynn (14-10, 3.72 ERA) for the Rangers.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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The Houston Texans have just a couple of practices before their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from Tuesday’s workout.

1.The offense stunk on Tuesday. It was inconsistent and resembled more of last year’s disappointing performances than any other practices in this training camp.

2. Davis Mills and his receivers had a few miscommunications on Tuesday. Mills sailed a pass to nobody when he and Brandin Cooks weren’t on the same page. There were some other throws to nowhere in the day. It was something that hadn’t been present at all in training camp to this point.

3. There were a few “good coverage” notes on Tuesday. Not to say there was one specific player, but a handful of team-level efforts that led to the note.

4. It wasn’t all wrong from the offense. After a pass to nowhere Davis Mills and the offense bounced back. It was a second down during a team drill and Mills fired a pass to Chris Moore for six yards. Rex Burkhead would pick up a first down on a rush a play later. A non-positive play last year on first down doomed this team. That hopefully won’t be the case for this year’s team.

5. Chad Beebe is going into his fifth season in the NFL, his first with the Texans. The former Vikings pass catcher has flashed a few times in training camp. He has an uphill battle being new to the team but is trying to make himself a factor.

6. Phillip Dorsett had a big catch over the middle. Davis Mills stood back and delivered as the offensive line held up and Dorsett reeled it in for a huge gain. No defenders were around him. It is between Dorsett and Chris Moore for the chance to be the slot wideout opening day. With Dorsett’s return to practice, it is becoming a fun camp battle.

7.Speaking of returns to practice, Tytus Howard was back. Howard has his reps managed and after practice, offensive line coach George Warhop Howard was “getting his wind” back. When Howard was having his reps managed rookie tackle Austin Deculus played at right tackle. Deculus looks much more consistent than minicamp and OTAs.

8. Kenyon Green is still out with an injury. It is getting to a critical time where the time missed might prevent the first-rounder from starting week one. Max Scharping hasn’t looked bad in his chances with the first team. Offensive line coach George Warhop said they believe in Green and his ability and he has been in meetings to stay up to date.

9. Ka’imi Fairbairn was perfect in one of the special team periods. He drilled all five kicks, each further than the last, and was crushing the football.

10. Derek Stingley was very sticky in some early reps on Nico Collins. The third overall pick is so smooth when he is working. Later his coverage forced a throw from the offense that had no chance of being completed.

11. The play of the day was made by Derek Stingley. The offense was about five or six yards out of the end zone needing a touchdown to win. With six seconds left on the clock, any completed pass that wasn’t a touchdown was game over. Davis Mills dropped back a step and fired to Nico Collins who Stingley covered. The rookie kept the second-year player out of the end zone to earn the defense a win. This was one of the better Stingley days and he did a lot of work. At one point, it looked as though he and Rex Burkhead had some words and almost led to an offense and defense scuffle, but it stayed to just some shouting. The rookie shined today.

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