Houston falls to Minnesota

Garcia's winning streak ends as Twins even series with Astros

Luis Garcia's winning streak came to an end Saturday night at the hands of the Twins. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After getting a late rally to power past the Twins in the opener, the Astros hoped to keep that momentum alive going into Saturday's middle game to secure the series win. Instead, the Twins grabbed the momentum, putting up enough runs against Luis Garcia to even the series.

Final Score: Twins 5, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 36-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Berrios (7-2)

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (5-4)

Garcia runs into trouble to end his winning streak

After three scoreless innings on both sides, Minnesota would figure out Luis Garcia in the bottom of the fourth. They started the scoring for the evening with a two-out RBI double, then knocked Garcia out of the game in the bottom of the fifth with another RBI double followed by a two-run homer to go in front 4-0. That snapped Garcia's streak of five straight games in which he recorded a win, leaving this one in line for the loss, hoping for his offense to bail him out. His final line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 84 P.

Astros launch a couple of homers but come up short to even the series

Blake Taylor came in from the bullpen as Houston's first reliever, finishing the fifth for Garcia, then returned for a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth, retiring all five batters he faced. Houston cut the lead in half in the top of the seventh, getting back-to-back solo homers by Kyle Tucker and Robel Garcia, making it 4-2 when Brooks Raley took over on the mound in the bottom of the inning.

Minnesota put one run back on the board against him, getting a leadoff double then later an RBI single. Raley would face four batters while getting two outs before being lifted for Nivaldo Rodriguez. Rodriguez issued a four-pitch walk to his first batter, then hit the next with a pitch to load the bases, but Michael Brantley would make a great catch to save some runs to end the inning and strand all three runners.

Rodriguez walked and hit another batter in the bottom of the eighth but had solid defense behind him again to get through a scoreless frame to keep it 5-2. That score would go final, though, as Houston would get turned away at the plate in the top of the ninth, evening the series and setting up a rubber match on Sunday in the finale.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game series between the Astros and Twins, as well as Houston's last game of the road trip, will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Framber Valdez (2-0, 1.47 ERA) will go up against Michael Pineda (3-3, 3.46 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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