Houston ends three-game skid

Astros outscore Angels to take opener of four-game series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the disappointing sweep in San Diego to end their short road-trip with three straight losses, the Astros were back at home in Minute Maid Park against the last-place Angels to try and right the ship. Here is how the series opener unfolded:

Final Score: Astros 11, Angels 4.

Record: 16-13, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-2, 2.35 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Patrick Sandoval (0-4, 6.75 ERA).

Astros outscore Angels early

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Houston would get on the board first in the bottom of the second. The first run came on a solo home run by Kyle Tucker to leadoff the inning before later an RBI-single by Josh Reddick would double the lead to 2-0.

The Angels took advantage of some sloppy baseball by the Astros in the top of the third. They scored a run to cut the lead in half by working a leadoff walk, moving the runner over on a fielder's choice, and then stealing third on a defensive miscue before getting an RBI-single to make it 2-1.

Houston responded right away, though, in the bottom of the inning. They would put together a three-run inning on an RBI-double by Michael Brantley, an RBI-single by Josh Reddick, and another scoring on an error, making it a 5-1 Astros advantage. The Angels would get one of those back in the top of the next inning, hitting a two-out solo home run off Frambre Valdez to make it 5-2.

Valdez finishes seven in line for the win

Los Angeles was able to put up two more runs against Valdez in the fifth, getting back-to-back two-out RBI-doubles to make it a one-run game at 5-4. Framber finished that inning, then returned to retire the next six batters in order over the sixth and seventh, including four more strikeouts to bring his total to eleven on the night, his last an inning-ending strikeout looking of Mike Trout. His final line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 1 HR, 113 pitches.

Houston was able to put up more runs on the Angels' bullpen in the bottom of the sixth. They worked two walks and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases, setting up a two-out bases-clearing double by Carlos Correa, followed by an RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to push the lead to 9-4.

Houston ends their three-game skid

In the bottom of the seventh, Michael Brantley led off with a double and then moved to third on a groundout. Martin Maldonado reached on a two-out walk, then Myles Straw, who entered to pinch-run for Springer earlier, would bring both in on a two-RBI double to make it a seven-run lead at 11-4.

With Valdez's night done after seven, Cionel Perez took over on the mound in the top of the eighth and retired the Angels in order for a 1-2-3 frame. He returned for the top of the ninth to finish off the game and did so to end Houston's three-game skid and take the first of four against Los Angeles.

Up Next: With tropical storm and expected hurricane Laura threatening the southeast-Texas area, the MLB decided to expedite this four-game series, moving Thursday's game to a part of a new double-header Tuesday. The first game will start at 3:05 PM Central with Jose Suarez (0-1, 33.75 ERA) working as a potential opener for a bullpen game for the Angles against Cristian Javier (2-1, 3.55 ERA) for the Astros. The second game will immediately follow with Julio Teheran (0-2, 10.38 ERA) on the mound for the Angels and a TBD starter for Houston.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome