Houston grabs the opener

Astros start series against Indians with a win

Yordan Alvarez was able to break out of a recent slump with a homer Monday against the Indians. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

After a disappointing series where they lost two of three in Chicago against the White Sox to pick up after the All-Star break, the Astros returned home for six games starting with three against the Indians on Monday night. Albeit a close game throughout, Houston would get the win to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 4, Indians 3

Astros' Record: 57-38, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (9-3)

Losing Pitcher: C.J. Mejia (1-5)

Greinke gets a decent start

Zack Greinke, on lengthy rest, had a decent night on the mound, giving up just one hit over the first three innings before Cleveland got on the board with a two-out solo homer in the top of the fourth, at the time tying the game 1-1. He rebounded by erasing a walk in the fifth, but after back-to-back hits to start the sixth, he would get just one out before Houston turned to Cristian Javier. Javier would allow one of Greinke's runs to score before finishing the inning, making Zack's final line 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HER, 84 P.

Alvarez breaks out of his slump

Greinke remained in line for the win, though, thanks to some run support behind him. Houston took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI double by Yuli Gurriel, plating Michael Brantley, who singled ahead of him. After Cleveland tied it in the top of the fourth, Martin Maldanado untied it with a two-out RBI single to put the Astros back in front 2-1.

After Brantley reached base again in the bottom of fifth, Yordan Alvarez was able to finally get something positive at the plate, breaking his recent slump with a two-run homer to extend Houston's lead to 4-1 at the time. After finishing the sixth for Greinke while giving up a run, Javier remained on the mound in the top of the seventh and erased a leadoff single to keep it a 4-2 game.

Astros hang on to take the opener

Ryne Stanek was next out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, and unlike his recent success, he allowed a run on two walks and an RBI single to tighten the lead to 4-3 before finishing the frame. Ryan Pressly, the Astros' closer, came on for his first inning of work since July 10th to try and get the save in the 4-3 game in the top of the ninth. Despite allowing the tying run aboard with a leadoff walk, Pressly retired the next three batters to finish off the win for Houston.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. The expected pitching matchup is Triston McKenzie (1-3, 5.47 ERA) for Cleveland and Luis Garcia (6-5, 3.06 ERA) for Houston.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM

The Houston Texans have just a couple of practices before their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from Tuesday’s workout.

1.The offense stunk on Tuesday. It was inconsistent and resembled more of last year’s disappointing performances than any other practices in this training camp.

2. Davis Mills and his receivers had a few miscommunications on Tuesday. Mills sailed a pass to nobody when he and Brandin Cooks weren’t on the same page. There were some other throws to nowhere in the day. It was something that hadn’t been present at all in training camp to this point.

3. There were a few “good coverage” notes on Tuesday. Not to say there was one specific player, but a handful of team-level efforts that led to the note.

4. It wasn’t all wrong from the offense. After a pass to nowhere Davis Mills and the offense bounced back. It was a second down during a team drill and Mills fired a pass to Chris Moore for six yards. Rex Burkhead would pick up a first down on a rush a play later. A non-positive play last year on first down doomed this team. That hopefully won’t be the case for this year’s team.

5. Chad Beebe is going into his fifth season in the NFL, his first with the Texans. The former Vikings pass catcher has flashed a few times in training camp. He has an uphill battle being new to the team but is trying to make himself a factor.

6. Phillip Dorsett had a big catch over the middle. Davis Mills stood back and delivered as the offensive line held up and Dorsett reeled it in for a huge gain. No defenders were around him. It is between Dorsett and Chris Moore for the chance to be the slot wideout opening day. With Dorsett’s return to practice, it is becoming a fun camp battle.

7.Speaking of returns to practice, Tytus Howard was back. Howard has his reps managed and after practice, offensive line coach George Warhop Howard was “getting his wind” back. When Howard was having his reps managed rookie tackle Austin Deculus played at right tackle. Deculus looks much more consistent than minicamp and OTAs.

8. Kenyon Green is still out with an injury. It is getting to a critical time where the time missed might prevent the first-rounder from starting week one. Max Scharping hasn’t looked bad in his chances with the first team. Offensive line coach George Warhop said they believe in Green and his ability and he has been in meetings to stay up to date.

9. Ka’imi Fairbairn was perfect in one of the special team periods. He drilled all five kicks, each further than the last, and was crushing the football.

10. Derek Stingley was very sticky in some early reps on Nico Collins. The third overall pick is so smooth when he is working. Later his coverage forced a throw from the offense that had no chance of being completed.

11. The play of the day was made by Derek Stingley. The offense was about five or six yards out of the end zone needing a touchdown to win. With six seconds left on the clock, any completed pass that wasn’t a touchdown was game over. Davis Mills dropped back a step and fired to Nico Collins who Stingley covered. The rookie kept the second-year player out of the end zone to earn the defense a win. This was one of the better Stingley days and he did a lot of work. At one point, it looked as though he and Rex Burkhead had some words and almost led to an offense and defense scuffle, but it stayed to just some shouting. The rookie shined today.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome