Houston is now 2-1

Greinke exits early, Mariners rally late as Astros pick up first loss

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With two games behind them, the Astros brought their AL-best 2-0 record into Sunday's matchup with the Mariners in game three of the four-game series. Here is a quick recap of game three of four in this series:

Final Score: Mariners 7, Astros 6.

Record: 2-1, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Dan Altavilla (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chris Devenski (0-1, 13.50 ERA).

Greinke makes an early exit as Mariners jump ahead

Zack Greinke did not have the first appearance of 2020 he would have hoped. In the top of the first, he allowed three-straight two-out hits, nearly four if not for a great catch by George Springer, including an RBI-double by Kyle Seager and an RBI-single by Evan White to put the Mariners ahead 2-0 before Houston could get to the plate.

Jose Altuve walked in the bottom of the first, then would score on a long double by Alex Bregman to get one of the runs back and make it 2-1. After a quick 1-2-3 second inning for Greinke, he would walk two in a scoreless third. A one-out double in the fourth would prompt a move to the bullpen after 58 pitches with Dusty Baker either already having a low pitch count in mind, or not liking the volatility with his command.

Joe Biagini took over on the mound in the fourth, but would not get through the inning before allowing Greinke's third run and one of his own to extend Seattle's lead to 4-1. Greinke's final line: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.

Houston bails him out with four-run fourth

Houston went to work against Yusei Kikuchi to claw back into it in the bottom of the fourth. They loaded the bases with no outs after two walks and a single, setting up an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to trim the deficit to 4-2. Kikuchi battled back to get the next two batters to strike out, but Josh Reddick would work a four-pitch walk to cut the lead to one run.

That brought Martin Maldonado to the plate, who already had big hits in each of the series's first two games. He would continue that streak, coming through with a two-RBI single to give Houston their first lead of the day at 5-4 and end Kikuchi's day.

Mariners rally to tie then go-ahead in eighth

Bryan Abreu was next out of the bullpen for the top of the fifth, and despite hitting two batters and walking another to load the bases, he was able to get through the inning with the one-run lead intact. He returned for the sixth, but after two quick outs would issue a two-out walk, prompting another call to the bullpen, this time for Blake Taylor, who would get a strikeout to end the frame.

After Josh Reddick would be left stranded on third after a leadoff triple in the bottom of the sixth, Taylor would return to the mound for a 1-2-3 seventh. Chris Devenski started the eighth but put a couple of Mariners on base to set up a tying RBI-single to tie the game up at 5-5, then later a two-RBI single to give Seattle a 7-5 lead. Michael Brantley would get Houston within a run with an RBI-double in the ninth, but the Mariners would hold on for the win.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series between the Astros and Mariners will get underway at 6:10 PM on Monday. Josh James, who has primarily worked as a reliever out of the bullpen, will assume his role as the current fourth spot in Houston's rotation, while Seattle will send Kendall Graveman to the mound.

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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