Houston has won three in a row

Starter-depleted Astros secure series with win over Indians

Jake Odorizzi had another solid start against the Indians on Saturday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.
With a large portion of their starters out of the lineup for various reasons, the Astros turned to some of their less-experienced players to attempt to secure the series win against the Indians on Saturday. Thanks to a couple of RBIs by Carlos Correa, a solid start from Jake Odorizzi, and excellent work by Houston's bullpen, they would hold on to the win over Cleveland.

Final Score: Astros 3, Indians 2

Astros' Record: 51-33, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (3-3)

Losing Pitcher: Eli Morgan (1-3)

No lack of power for Houston

It didn't appear that the Astros were missing any of their power, with three runs in the first four innings to get a 3-0 lead. In the top of the first, they put two on base on two hits before an RBI single by Carlos Correa, then in the top of the fourth, Correa doubled the lead on a solo homer, then Abraham Toro followed one out later with a solo shot as well.

Odorizzi gets into the seventh in line for the win

Jake Odorizzi did great with the lead, getting off to a hot start by erasing a hit in the first, walk in the second, then posting a 1-2-3 third. He would allow an unearned run, thanks to a fielding error in the inning, in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI groundout, but rebounded from the one-run fourth with another 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, then faced the minimum in the sixth thanks to a double play.

He tried to keep going in the bottom of the seventh, but back-to-back leadoff doubles to cut the lead to one ended his night, with Ryne Stanek coming in to strand the inherited runner. That finalized Odorizzi's line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 91 P.

Astros secure the series

Houston had a chance to add some insurance runs in the top of the eighth, getting their first two runners on base then moving one to third with one out, but were unable to do anything with it. Cristian Javier was next out of Houston's bullpen in the bottom of the eighth, holding the one-run lead with a 1-2-3 inning, including two strikeouts. After a scoreless top half, Ryan Pressly came in to try and close things out in the bottom of the ninth. He did so, notching his fourteenth save of the season to give Houston the series win with a chance for a four-game sweep in the finale.

Up Next: The fourth and final game of this series, and the last of a twenty-game stretch in twenty days for the Astros, will be a 12:10 PM Central start on Sunday. The expected pitching matchup is Zack Greinke (8-2, 3.65 ERA) for Houston and Cal Quantrill (0-2, 4.11 ERA) for Cleveland.

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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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