Houston gets the win

Astros grab shutout win over Rockies in opener of short series

After a slow start, Houston's offense came alive in the middle innings on Tuesday against the Rockies. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
After a disappointing series against the Twins over the weekend where they dropped three of four, the Astros entered Tuesday fresh off a day off to welcome in the Rockies for a quick two-game series. Houston looked much like themselves in the opener, stringing together hits to score runs and get the win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Rockies 0

Astros' Record: 67-46, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (5-6)

Losing Pitcher: Jon Gray (7-8)

Houston's offense springs to life in the fourth

After three and a half innings with little offense to speak about on both sides, the Astros sprung to life in the bottom of the fourth. They put two runners on base, setting up Chas McCormick for a two-out RBI single to score the game's first run. Taylor Jones came up next, adding two more on a two-RBI double, giving Houston a 3-0 lead.

Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the next inning by reaching base on a hit by pitch, then scored from first on an RBI double by Michael Brantley, extending the lead to 4-0. They continued to threaten in the frame, chasing Jon Gray out of the game before loading the bases against Colorado's first reliever, but would not tack on more runs.

Odorizzi goes five scoreless

The lead put Jake Odorizzi in a winning position as he was holding the Rockies scoreless. He faced trouble in the second, putting two runners on base with no outs on a single and walk, but was able to strand both. He went on to allow just two more on base, a two-out single in the top of the fourth and a two-out single in the top of the fifth. His night would end there, giving his team five shutout innings, making his final line 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 81 P.

Astros take the opener

Cristian Javier took over on the mound in the top of the sixth, working around a one-out walk to keep the shutout going. The Astros made it three innings in a row with a run, this time a two-out RBI single by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-0. Javier remained in the game in the top of the seventh and erased a single and a walk to keep the score there.

Blake Taylor was Houston's next reliever, coming in to face the left-handed portion of Colorado's lineup in the top of the eighth. He retired two then issued a walk before Yimi Garcia entered to finish the frame. In the top of the ninth, the Astros got the debut of Pedro Baez, an offseason acquisition who started the year on the IL. He made it a good one, finishing off the shutout win by erasing a leadoff single with a strikeout and a double play.

Up Next: The finale of this short two-game series will be an afternoon game at 1:10 PM Central on Wednesday. Framber Valdez (7-3, 3.22 ERA) for the Astros will oppose Antonio Senzatela (2-8, 4.73 ERA).

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Here's why the Texans will make the playoffs under Lovie Smith

1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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