Houston has won six in a row

Astros secure series win over A's with homers by Altuve and Tucker

Kyle Tucker had the big go-ahead homer in Wednesday's game against the A's. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After mounting an impressive comeback to take the series opener against the A's, the Astros took the field in the middle game of this three-game series to try and lock up the victory with a win on Wednesday night. Thanks to homers by Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker, they would grab the win.

Final Score: Astros 4, A's 3

Astros' Record: 54-33, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Sean Manaea (6-6)

Garcia gives up an early homer, Altuve backs him up

Like in the opener of the series, Oakland got on the board first in the top of the first inning, this time against Luis Garcia. Unlike their three-run first with multiple hits the night prior, this time, it was limited to a solo home run by Matt Olson to give the A's the early 1-0 lead, which held for a few innings.

In the bottom of the third, Houston put their first two batters on base to set up a three-run go-ahead home run by Jose Altuve with one out, making it a 3-1 Astros advantage. Garcia rebounded for four scoreless innings after the early homer, leaving in line for the win with another solid start: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Oakland ties it, Tucker puts Houston back in front

Houston moved into their bullpen starting in the top of the sixth, with Cristian Javier entering to relieve Garcia. It would not be a good inning for him, allowing a solo homer to his first batter before loading the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk. He gave up the tying run on a wild pitch, but thanks to some solid defense and a strikeout was able to limit the damage there, leaving it a 3-3 tie.

Blake Taylor was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, and though he dealt with traffic on the bases as well, he was able to post a scoreless inning by erasing an error and walk. Kyle Tucker untied the game in the bottom of the seventh, launching a solo home run to put the Astros back on top 4-3.

Astros secure the series

Ryne Stanek continued his recent role as setup man in the top of the eighth, tossing a 1-2-3 frame to maintain the one-run lead. That presented Ryan Pressly with another save opportunity in the top of the ninth, and he would notch it by sitting down Oakland in order, giving Houston the series win, and extending their lead in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set will be an afternoon game starting at 1:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup is slated to be Frankie Montas (7-7, 4.63 ERA) for Oakland and Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1, 2.97 ERA) for Houston.

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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