Houston is now 10-10

Astros get back to .500 and secure series with win over Mariners

Astros Springer Altuve
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Astros Springer Altuve

After unloading on Seattle in the lopsided 11-1 win on Friday, the Astros tried to lock up the series and continue their success at the plate with a victory on Saturday. Here is a quick recap of the middle game of the three-game set:

Final Score: Astros 2, Mariners 1.

Record: 10-10, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-1, 2.91 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Nick Margevicius (0-1, 3.14 ERA).

Houston scores early as Javier goes six scoreless

After combining for ten runs in the first inning on Friday, both teams headed to the second still scoreless on Saturday, thanks in part by Cristian Javier striking out the side in order in the top of the inning. The middle of Houston's order went to work in the bottom of the second, getting a runner in scoring position via a Yordan Alvarez single who then moved to third on a double by Yuli Gurriel. Jose Altuve, who was moved down to seventh in the lineup, took advantage of the RBI opportunity with a groundout to put the Astros in front 1-0.

Gurriel would make another impact in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a two-out solo home run to straightaway center to double the lead, 2-0. That gave Javier a two-run cushion, and he hadn't allowed a hit yet in the game. Seattle would change that in the top of the fifth, getting their first hit and threatening to score, but Javier was able to work out of a jam to keep the Mariners off the board. He would last one more frame, getting the Mariners to go down 1-2-3 in the sixth. His final line: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 0 HR.

Bullpen holds on for the win

Josh James entered to take over for Javier in the top of the seventh. Unlike his other appearances this year, James would get through this one without allowing any runs. Brooks Raley was next out of the bullpen for the top of the eighth, and he would allow the first run of the night for the Mariners on a two-out solo home run to cut the lead in half at 2-1.

After threatening to add some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, Seattle would hold the Astros off, keeping it a one-run game going to the ninth. Ryan Pressly would enter to try and notch another save, and he would do so with a quick 1-2-3 inning. The victory put Houston back at .500 on the year and made it three straight wins.

Up Next: The finale of this series between the Astros and Mariners will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 6.10 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston after a gem in his last start, while Justus Sheffield (1-2, 5.27 ERA) will start for Seattle.

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Rockets defeat Magic, 118-106. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

Fred VanVleet scored a season-high 37 points and the Houston Rockets snapped a five-game skid with a 118-106 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

The Magic fell into a tie for fourth place with Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. They came into the night with a chance to clinch the Southeast Division title with a win and a loss by the Miami Heat, but they couldn’t get it done against Houston and the Heat beat the Hawks 117-111 in double overtime.

“We can't hang our heads,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “We've got to come out and go after Milwaukee tomorrow. That's what it's got to be. Take the lessons from this one. Bounce back tomorrow.”

A basket by Markelle Fultz got the Magic within eight with about four minutes to go but VanVleet made a jump shot followed by a three-point play to make it 114-101 about a minute later to secure the victory.

Paolo Banchero and Jalen Suggs scored 21 points apiece for the Magic and Fultz added 18.

VanVleet made six 3-pointers and had eight rebounds and six assists. Jabari Smith Jr. added 23 points and Dillon Brooks had 15 as the Rockets played their last home game of the season.

“We wanted to continue to build and we know we're out of the race but we have four to go,” coach Ime Udoka said. “We don't want to just lay down and chalk it up... we fought hard and played well.”

The Magic scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter, with the last five from Joe Ingles, to cut the lead to 97-91 with about nine minutes to go.

Houston got its first points of the quarter on a 3-pointer by VanVleet, but Fultz made a layup seconds later.

The Rockets hadn't forgotten about the 116-86 loss they suffered to Orlando in their season opener.

“They kicked our butts the first game of the season,” VanVleet said. “We definitely remember that. So it was good to get some get back there.”

The Rockets led by 12 at halftime and opened the second half with an 11-4 run to make it 74-55 with nine minutes left in the third. Jalen Green had the first five points in that stretch and VanVleet added a 3-pointer.

Houston was up by 18 after another 3 from VanVleet later in the third quarter before the Magic went on a 10-4 run, with five points from Suggs, to get withing 90-78 with 3 ½ minutes left in the quarter.

Soon after that Ingles and Houston’s Cam Whitmore were both given technical fouls after bumping into one another and jawing at each other. Whitmore was ejected 14 seconds after that for arguing with an official after being called for a loose ball foul.

Ingles made two free throws but the Rockets outscored Orlando 5-2 to close out the quarter and take a 97-82 lead into the fourth quarter.


Magic: Visit Milwaukee Wednesday night.

Rockets: Visit Utah Thursday night.

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