ASTROS SWEEP MARINERS

Houston Astros complete the sweep, beating the Mariners 7-2

Justin Verlander was electric again. Composite photo by Brandon Strange.

The Houston Astros came into Wednesday's game with a chance to sweep the Seattle Mariners and push their record to 14-11, and they did exactly that. Justin Verlander took the mound for the Astros and didn't have to wait long for a lead to protect.

Yuli Gurriel got the scoring going for the Astros in the 1st inning after hitting a double to right field and driving in Alex Bregman, making the score 1-0.


The Astros added to their lead in the bottom of the second after Michael Brantley singled to center and drove in Chas McCormick and Aledmys Díaz. The Astros tacked on one more run in the inning when Alex Bregman singled to left field and drove in Jose Altuve, giving the Astros a 4-0 lead.

After being in cruise control for most of the game, JV faced two on with two out. No need to worry, though. Verlander struck out Eugenio Suárez in the top of the 4th, and his offense went back to work.

Jose Altuve scored on a sacrifice fly from Alex Bregman in the bottom of the 4th, giving the Astros a 5-0 lead.

Altuve would leave the game and be replaced by Niko Goodrum after fouling a ball off his groin area.

Jumping ahead to the bottom of the 6th, the Astros scored two more runs. Bregman doubled in Chas McCormick and later scored off a hit from Yordan Alvarez, who was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.

In the top of the 7th, the Mariners scored their first runs off Justin Verlander. Eugenio Suárez hit a 2-run homer making the score 7-2, Astros. Verlander would leave the game after going 6 2/3 innings, with Ryne Stanek coming in to get the final out of the 7th.

Verlander finished the day giving up 5 hits, 2ER, and recording 3Ks. Parker Mushinski came in and pitched the 8th and 9th innings for the Astros allowing no runs and securing the series sweep of the Mariners.

Up next: The Detroit Tigers come to town to face the Astros on Thursday night at 7:10 PM.


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Laremy Tunsil's absence is something to note after missing time last season. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

The Houston Texans took to the field for OTA practice on Wednesday. Here are 11 observations from the practice.

1. Derek Stingley doesn't take full reps yet. Stingley is working up to full reps after last year's injury-plagued college season. Lovie Smith said the plan is to work to get Stingley, as well as other rookies, up to full reps in practice.

2. Despite not having full reps, it doesn't mean the third overall pick can't impress. Stingley did well in the drills with other defensive backs showcasing his agility and quickness. During one of the team drills, Stingley effortlessly matched step for step with Chris Conley on a play that finished on the other side of the field. It was also surprising to see Stingley working on punt returns as well.

3. It is just shorts and helmets so not much can be gleaned from the team's other first-round pick Kenyon Green. Green worked at left guard with a variety of other offensive linemen. Lovie Smith made it clear there are currently no first, second, or third teams for the Texans. Green's pre-season analysis will pick up when training camp and pads roll around.

4. Max Scharping looks to be in phenomenal shape. The former second-round pick has been a disappointment in his time with the Texans. Scharping enters a year when he will need to battle to remain on the roster. It seems the delicacy of his roster spot led to an incredible offseason for Scharping.

5. Laremy Tunsil and Maliek Collins are two veterans who are not at the optional team activities. Lovie Smith detailed he has spoken to any player who isn't here and understands this is indeed optional.

6. With Laremy Tunsil missing, Charlie Heck saw snaps at left tackle. The team's right tackle for the majority of last year looks, like the above-mentioned Scharping, to be in great shape. He was moving well on a few of the plays which required the line to get out and block.

7. Roy Lopez, who was a surprise contributor last year, had what would have been a great play in a full-speed game situation. Lopez darted past the offensive line sniffing out a reverse and tapped the receiver as he went by. It would've been a 10-yard loss and a smushed wideout in a live game.

8. Nico Collins had a few nice plays. Collins displays his athleticism and he made some nice cuts in his routes to get open.

9. Pharaoh Brown and Marlon Mack had two bad drops in the team portions. Brown made up for it later with the catch of the day, sliding to haul in a Davis Mills pass near the sideline.

10. This is not an impressive tight end group overall. Not yet, at least. There are several new faces and their actual tight end abilities are unknown to this point. Brevin Jordan had some nice plays in the open field and Davis Mills found him a few times on dump-off passes. Rookie Teagan Quitoriano didn't practice today.

11. Davis Mills operates with the calmness of a player who is the for sure unquestioned starting quarterback. As he should, that's what he is for the Texans. Mills didn't show off a lot in this practice but he didn't make too many mistakes. There was a wideout miscommunication that almost went for an interception. There is a clear emphasis on getting the ball out on time for Pep Hamilton's offense. Mills had a few chances to drive a deep pass, but opted for a quick pass to not hold onto the ball too long. This should be expected and obvious, but he isn't anywhere near the quarterback I saw last year have one of the worst training camp practices of all time.

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