Houston makes it back-to-back wins

Houston's offense stays strong in another win over Cleveland

Chas McCormick and Carlos Correa both had RBIs on Friday. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

With the rough losing streak behind them after a victory in the opener, Houston tried to start a new winning streak and move closer to securing this series with another one on Friday in Cleveland. With more strong offense early in this matchup, they backed up Lance McCullers Jr. en route to the win.

Final Score: Astros 6, Indians 3

Astros' Record: 50-33, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1)

Losing Pitcher: Sam Hentges (1-3)

Houston gives McCullers Jr. a lead

Unlike the night prior, where they had to erase a Cleveland lead, the Astros grabbed and built upon an early advantage Friday night. They started the scoring in the bottom of the second, getting back-to-back RBI doubles by Chas McCormick and Taylor Jones to jump in front 2-0. That grew to a six-run lead in the next inning, with another RBI by McCormick and one each by Carlos Correa, Abraham Toro, and Jason Castro.

Lance McCullers Jr. maintained that lead, despite dealing with some traffic, through the first five innings. He returned in the bottom of the sixth, but after a one-out walk and single would hand the ball to Dusty Baker as Brooks Raley would try to strand the runners. Raley did not accomplish that mission and instead gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced to cut Houston's lead in half before finishing the frame. That finalized McCullers Jr.'s line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 107 P.

Astros get back-to-back wins in Cleveland

Ryne Stanek dealt with his own runners in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk for a scoreless frame. Blake Taylor was Houston's next reliever, and he too escaped a jam, loading the bases but getting a strikeout to get out unscathed. That set up another save opportunity for Ryan Pressly, and he converted it in the bottom of the ninth to give Houston back-to-back wins with a chance to secure the series on Saturday.

Up Next: Game three of four of this series will have a first pitch time of 6:15 PM Central on Saturday. Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 4.08 ERA) will be on the mound to try and even his record and continue lowering his ERA with another scoreless outing, while the Indians will hand the ball to Eli Morgan (1-2, 9.37 ERA).

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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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