Houston has won four straight

Kyle Tucker's walk-off homer for Astros completes sweep of Mariners

Photo by Rich Schultz / Getty Images

With the series victory already locked up, the Astros were going for the clean sweep on Sunday against the Mariners and looking for their fourth-straight win. A quick rundown of Sunday's series finale:

Final Score: Astros 3, Mariners 2.

Record: 11-10, third in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Ryan Pressly (1-1, 6.35 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Erik Swanson (0-2, 15.19 ERA).

Trading runs early

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, the Astros took advantage of another defensive miscue by Seattle in the bottom of the second to grab an early lead. Abraham Toro, a late addition to the lineup in the DH spot with Yordan Alvarez being a late scratch, was able to reach base on a two-out error. He would come around to score on back-to-back singles by Martin Maldonado and George Springer, putting Houston ahead 1-0.

Seattle responded by manufacturing some runs of their own in the next inning, getting a runner on base by a hit-by-pitch to lead it off. They turned that into run with an RBI-single, then took a 2-1 lead with another later in the inning. The Astros would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single by Martin Maldonado.

McCullers Jr. with another impressive start as game stays tied late

Despite the two-run third inning, Lance McCullers Jr. was still putting together another strong start. That was the only inning he allowed a hit over the first five, then returned to start the sixth. He allowed a leadoff double to start the top of the sixth, but with his pitch count rising and after allowing a two-out walk, would have Dusty Baker come to make a move to the bullpen. Andre Scrubb would get the final out of the inning, closing out McCullers Jr.'s line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7K, 0 HR.

Scrubb returned for the top of the seventh, but after two outs would be removed in favor of Houston's next reliever, Enoli Paredes. He would get the final out of the sixth, and continued on in the seventh, getting one out and allowing a single before Houston would move to Blake Taylor, who finished the inning despite allowing a walk.

Astros walk it off

Houston would fail to go-ahead in the bottom of the eighth, keeping it a 2-2 stalemate heading to the ninth. With Ryan Pressly already warmed up, he would take the top of the inning and be able to keep Seattle off the board with a 1-2-3 inning. That set the Astros up for a walk-off, and Kyle Tucker would oblige with a solo home run to complete the sweep and extend Houston's winning streak to four games.

Up Next: The Astros will close out this homestand with two games against the Rockies, the first being Monday at 8:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Kyle Freeland (2-0, 2.45 ERA) on the mound for Colorado going against Brandon Bielak (2-0, 1.76 ERA) for Houston.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assistsā€¦ I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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