Astros take another from the Mariners

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With the Astros playing a marathon the day before with their bullpen responsible for 13 innings of work in the victory in the series opener, they looked for a more traditional win on Friday night. Here is a recap of game two of four for this weekend:

Final Score: Astros 7, Mariners 4.

Record: 92-50, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Joe Smith (1-0, 1.40 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Tommy Milone (3-9, 4.98 ERA).

1) Teams trade blows in the first while Valdez goes just four innings

It looked like Houston may be in for a repeat of the night before in the first inning. Framber Valdez struggled to find the zone, walking the bases loaded with one out before a two-RBI single put the Mariners out to a 2-0 lead. Valdez would recover and finish the inning; then, his offense went to work in the bottom half.

Jose Altuve led things off for the Astros by reaching on an infield single and advancing to second on an error. After a walk, Houston would get three-straight RBIs from Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel, giving them a 3-2 advantage.

Valdez was able to get two clean innings in the second and third, but a leadoff single in the top of the fourth would turn into a tying run. With his pitch count rising, he would finish that inning but go no further in the game. His final line: 4 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

2) Houston adds to their lead 

Houston regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a two-out solo home run by Josh Reddick, his second in as many nights. Joe Biagini was first out of Houston's taxed bullpen and was able to retire Seattle in order in the top of the fifth.

In the bottom of the inning, a one-out single by Alex Bregman turned into another run after he moved along to third on a hit batter and a groundout then took home while Aledmys Diaz was trapped in a rundown between first and second attempting to steal.

Biagini remained in the game for the top of the sixth; however, Seattle met him with a solo home run to start the inning and trim the lead back to one run. He would walk the next batter, resulting in another call to the bullpen to bring in Joe Smith who finished the inning. In the bottom half, Houston added two runs to their lead on an RBI-single by Michael Brantley and another on a passed ball, making it a 7-4 game.

3) Bullpen holds strong to seal the win

Hector Rondon was next out of Houston's bullpen and worked around a two-out hit batter to complete a scoreless inning in the seventh. Will Harris was next for the top of the eighth and he, too, would keep Seattle off the scoreboard.

Roberto Osuna finished things off in the ninth, notching another save and sealing up the victory for Houston. The win moved them to 92-50 on the year, tying them with the Yankees for the best record in the American League.

Up Next: Game three of this four-game set will be Saturday at 6:10 PM. Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.56 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston trying to replicate the success of his no-hitter from his last start, while Yusei Kikuchi (6-9, 5.36 ERA) will start for Seattle.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Walter will host The Night of Champions. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images.

In 2014, Austin Walter rushed for 2,704 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior at Crosby High School. Despite falling short of a state title, Walter was named District 19-4A MVP and finished his prep career with a little over 6,000 rushing yards on 613 carries (6,062 yds). Seven years later, Walter will be returning to his high school alma mater to give back to the community that laid the foundation for an NFL career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's a blessing to be able to come from a small town and be one of the guys who made it out," Walter said. "Not a lot of people made it to the NFL or the NBA from Crosby High School. To be one of the first, it's an amazing feeling. It's a blessing and an honor."

On Thursday, April 15, Walter will host The Night of Champions to benefit the Crosby High School Booster Club from 6-9 p.m. The event will be a weight lifting competition at Crosby High School for student-athletes around the area to showcase their talents and abilities.

In addition to hosting a weight lifting showcase, Walter will also share his life teachings with student-athletes in attendance. Perseverance and not taking no for an answer will be one of the most vital messages the Crosby native will share with aspiring pro-athletes. It's the two virtues Walter has leaned on from little league football to the NFL. And as an undrafted prospect in 2019, it was that same morale that helped him outshine six other running backs during the 49ers rookie training camp that same year.

"Before I started playing football in high school, a lot of people thought I was too small," Walter said. "They thought because we played little league and not in middle school we would not make it in high school. My twin brother [Ashton Walter] and I did not listen to that. We just kept pushing forward."

"When I left Rice, people thought I was going to play in the Canadian league or AFF, and I did not take no for an answer. I believed in myself. And I believed in God. And if I can make it out of a small town like Crosby, anybody can make it...It's the mentality I've had my entire life of not quitting. I feel like that is what got me to the point I am at right now."

Whether their life goal is to play in the NFL or not, Walter's primary objective for The Night of Champions is to be an inspiration and show kids they can find success despite their environment. It is one of the things the former XFL running back (Dallas Renegades) wished he would have seen growing up in Crosby.

After graduating from Crosby High School, Walter went on to have a record-breaking collegiate career at Rice University. He became one of two players in school history to rush for over 1,500 yards (1,744 yds.) and 1,000 kick return yards (1,548 yds.) in four seasons with the Owls. In February, Walter signed a one-year contract extension to re-join the 49ers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Click here to learn more about The Night of Champions at Crosby High School or support Walter and the Crosby High School Booster Club.

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