Houston's bats are hot

Houston keeps mashing, secures another series win against Boston

Astros' Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley
Houston kept barreling up balls in Wednesday's game in Boston. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Houston kept barreling up balls in Wednesday's game in Boston.

With an offensive statement in the opener of this three-game set, Houston entered Wednesday's middle game with a chance to lock up their third-straight series and eighth win in their last ten games. They would get it, as their lineup powered the way to the victory.

Final Score: Astros 8, Red Sox 3

Astros' Record: 35-26, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi (7-3)

Odorizzi overcomes tough first inning

Jake Odorizzi looked like he may be en route to an early exit in Wednesday's middle game, thanks to a rough first inning. He started his night with a walk, followed by a double to put runners on second and third. Both would score, one on a sac fly and the other on an RBI single, giving Boston a 2-0 lead.

He settled in, though, after that, with a 1-2-3 second and third, getting back on track. He allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fourth but retired the next six batters in a row to complete five innings. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Houston's bats keep connecting

He left in line for the win, thanks to another strong performance from Houston's offense. Down 2-0 after the first inning, they went to work in the top of the second, getting back-to-back two-out doubles to cut the lead in half. They followed that with a four-run third, starting with a leadoff solo homer by Jose Altuve, then RBI hits by Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel, and Michael Brantley, giving the Astros a 5-2 lead at the time.

Now a two-run game in the bottom of the sixth at 5-3, and with Odorizzi's day done, Cristian Javier would come in to try and get through as much as he could. After he sat down Boston 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Houston added a run in the top of the seventh on a sac fly by Myles Straw, pushing it back to a three-run game. Javier followed that with a five-pitch bottom of the inning. Houston added more insurance in the top of the eighth, with Carlos Correa reaching base to set up a two-run bomb by Alex Bregman, making it 8-3.

Javier goes the rest of the way as Astros secure the series

Javier kept going in the bottom of the eighth and recorded another scoreless frame by erasing a one-out single, then tried to finish things off in the ninth. He'd make quick work of Boston once again, finishing the "piggy-back" for Odorizzi in the two-pitcher game that kept the Astros in step with the Oakland A's in the battle for best in the AL West.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set and the last of the seven-game season series between Houston and Boston will be another 6:10 PM Central start on Thursday. The Astros will go up against Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4, 5.59 ERA) for Boston, who allowed six runs to Houston when they squared off on May 31st. Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.38 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Will all the Texans playmakers be satisfied with their roles in the offense? Composite Getty Image.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show this weekand shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a ton of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Which got us thinking, are there enough catches to go around?

We took a deep dive into the 2023 numbers and here's what we found. CJ Stroud averaged 21 completions per game. And here's a breakdown of how many catches his receivers averaged last year.

Nico Collins 5.3 catches per game

Stefon Diggs (with Buffalo) 6.29 catches per game

Dalton Schultz 3.93 catches per game

Tank Dell 4.27 catches per game

Texans running backs 3.05 catches per game

If we add those up, the total is 22.84. Which means the Texans top receivers should expect a similar amount of production compared to last season. Of course, players like Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and Brevin Jordan will take targets away from Stefon Diggs and company from time to time.

But it's good to know that the Texans top pass catchers should produce numbers close to their 2023 averages. Which is a big deal for a player in a contract year like Diggs.

Another thing to note. We're factoring in that the Texans are expected to run out of 11 personnel most of the time. Which means Diggs, Collins, Dell, Schultz, and Mixon will be the only pass catchers on the field the majority of the time.

Are there concerns about the defense?

Both Kimes and Bien-Aime designated Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. Is he right?

Be sure to watch the video above as we react to Kimes and Bien-Aime's outlook for the Texans this year, and share our thoughts on the possible pitfalls the team will have to navigate in the short and long-term.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome