Houston posts another poor offensive day

Astros held scoreless by White Sox to lose the series in Chicago

Framber Valdez's rough start on Sunday paired with Houston's lack of offense handed Chicago the series. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

With each team grabbing a lopsided win in the first two games of the series, the Astros tried to lock up the series with a win in the finale on Sunday behind Framber Valdez. It would not go their way, however, with Carlos Rodon holding Houston's potent offense in check for a second straight game, and the White Sox getting runs on the board against Valdez to take the series.

Final Score: White Sox 4, Astros 0

Astros' Record: 56-38, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Carlos Rodon (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez (5-2)

Valdez loses the pitching battle

While his offense was struggling to get anything done against Carlos Rodon, Houston's starter Framber Valdez was trying to power through to a quality start but would come up short. After a scoreless first, the White Sox struck first in the bottom of the second against him, turning a one-out walk into an RBI single later in the inning. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 third but was met with a leadoff solo homer to start the bottom of the fourth, making it 2-0.

He allowed another solo shot in the bottom of the next inning, then continued on the mound through to the bottom of the seventh, where after a leadoff walk and RBI single to make it 4-0, would allow a double to his last batter before Houston would make the call to their bullpen to bring in Ryne Stanek, who finished off the frame. Valdez's final line: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 97 P.

Astros get shutout as White Sox take the series

That planted Valdez firmly in position for the loss, as Rodon subdued Houston's offense to just one hit over seven innings before Chicago would go to their bullpen in the top of the eighth. Houston would stay unless, and in the bottom of the eighth, their next reliever was Blake Taylor who posted a 1-2-3 inning. Houston would continue to be held scoreless in the top of the ninth, with Chicago completing the shutout to take the game and the series.

Up Next: With this short three-game road trip complete, the Astros will return home to welcome in the Indians for a series starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. The opener will feature the pitching matchup of J.C. Mejia (1-4, 7.42 ERA) for Cleveland and Luis Garcia (6-5, 3.06 ERA) for Houston.

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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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