Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
After ending their recent road trip with a loss against the Brewers before a day off, the Astros started Thursday 1.5 games behind the Yankees for the best record in the American League. They had an excellent opportunity to make up some ground with a four-game set with the Mariners. Here is a quick rundown of the opener:
Final Score (13 innings): Astros 11, Mariners 9.
Record: 91-50, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Josh James (5-0, 4.64 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Matt Wisler (3-4, 5.18 ERA).
1) Miley can't record a single out as Mariners blow it open early
Wade Miley had a terrible appearance on the mound on Thursday night. He faced a total of six batters and did not record an out against any of them. Instead, he allowed four runs on three hits and a home run, then put runners on first and second before A.J. Hinch would give him the hook.
Cy Sneed was given the task of a quick warmup and entry into the game and was able to get the three outs despite allowing Miley's fifth earned run. Miley's final line: 0.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR.
After allowing the run in the first, Sneed would also struggle with Seattle's lineup, giving up a two-run home run in the top of the second to extend the Mariners' lead to 7-0.
2) Houston chips away at the lead as Tucker gets his first homer
Houston's batters did not throw in the towel; they tried to shake Marco Gonzalez and start chipping away at the lead. In the bottom of the second, they were able to get runners on second and third with no outs. They would score one on a wild pitch but waste an opportunity for more.
Alex Bregman cut the lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the third on a two-RBI double. Jose Urquidy took over on the mound out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the fourth and worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless inning then followed that up with a 1-2-3 fifth.
After another scoreless inning by Urquidy in the top of the sixth, Kyle Tucker finally notched his first major-league home run with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the inning. Josh Reddick hit another one out later, making it a two-run game at 7-5.
After blasting a career-high 34 homers this year in #MiLB, Kyle Tucker hit his first #MLB homer tonight for the #Astros. pic.twitter.com/312aP1SHA0
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 6, 2019
3) Houston ties the game in the eighth
Seattle moved the lead back to three runs in the top of the seventh, getting a solo home run off of Urquidy to make it 8-5. Joe Biagini was the next reliever out and provided a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, then Houston went to work in the bottom half. They put two on base with a hit batter and walk, setting up Jose Altuve for a two-RBI triple to cut the lead to one run at 8-7, then Michael Brantley hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 8-8 after the Astros had been down 7-0 after the first two innings.
Joe Smith tried to keep it tied and give the Astros a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth by throwing a scoreless top half and was able to get two of three batters out before Roberto Osuna took over for the final out. In the bottom of the ninth, Houston struck out in order, sending the game to extras.
4) Astros complete the comeback in extras
Osuna remained on the mound in the top of the tenth and worked around a one-out walk to keep the game tied. The Mariners did the same, pushing the game another inning where Hector Rondon pitched for Houston in the top of the eleventh. He kept Seattle off the bases, giving his offense yet another chance to finish the comeback.
In the bottom of the eleventh, the top of the Astros' order would strike out in order. Josh James had the top of the twelfth and would allow a one-out solo home run to put the Mariners back in front 9-8 before getting out of the inning. Houston would get a runner on base in the bottom of the inning, brought in Myles Straw to run, and that paid dividends as he would score from second on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to re-tie the game 9-9 and keep it going to the thirteenth.
Despite allowing the home run in the inning prior, James would remain in the game for the top of the thirteenth and struck out the side in order. Jake Marisnick led the bottom of the inning off with a walk, but Michael Brantley wouldn't need it with a walk-off home run to complete the comeback.
Up Next: This series will continue with another game on Friday night and another 7:10 PM start. The expected starting pitchers are Tommy Milone (3-8, 4.90 ERA) for the Mariners going against Framber Valdez (4-7, 5.55 ERA) for the Astros.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.
Coming off a huge upset win over the Bengals this Sunday, CJ Stroud is now firmly in the MVP conversation with the team at 5-4, one game behind the Jaguars in the AFC South.
Stroud also leads the NFL in passing yards per game, and TD to Int ratio. And man is this offense fun to watch. Nobody pushes the ball down the field more effectively than Stroud and the Texans. So let's give some credit to the pass catchers.
With wide receiver Nico Collins missing the game due to injury, Stroud connected with Noah Brown 7 times for 172 yards. Brown's performance over the last 2 weeks has been incredible.
In fact, the Texans have 2 of the top 3 receivers when it comes to yards per catch. Brown is first with 20.9. Nico Collins is third at 17.5. Brown is also 10th in the league when it comes to yards per game (87.8).
One of the other factors that helped the Texans secure a victory this Sunday was their improvement in the running game. The Bengals struggle to stop the run, and Devin Singletary was able to capitalize with 150 yards on 30 attempts.
Finally, let's discuss the defense that was able to go into Cincinnati and beat Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase. DeMeco's crew was able to sack Burrow 4 times, and Sheldon Rankins had three of those sacks. He also just missed another with about 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
The game actually shouldn't have been this close, as Stroud made a big mistake trying to force a ball to Tank Dell late in the fourth quarter, which resulted in an interception.
Thankfully, the Texans were able to keep the Bengals out of the end zone as Tyler Boyd dropped a touchdown, which led to a Bengals field goal.
It sure is nice to be able to learn from mistakes while still winning the game. And without that poor decision, we don't get to see Stroud finish another game-winning drive, leading his team to victory in back-to-back weeks.
Be sure to watch the video above as we break down what this win means for Stroud and the Texans moving forward.
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