TEXANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Lamar Miller's 2018 rebound continues

Lamar Miller finishes off his 97-yard run. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Lamar Miller's resurgent 2018 season continued on Monday Night Football as the Texans veteran back made team history on their way to pushing the AFC's longest win streak to eight. 

With the Texans lead of four points in danger, the defense came up big stopping the Titans on a fourth down. The ensuing play was history for the Texans, but familiar for Lamar Miller. He took a handoff and burst through the line on the right side for a 97-yard touchdown. It was the longest play in the history of the franchise. Miller, in 2014, was the last player to rush for a 97-yard score. Miller said he was well aware he was the last player to go 97 yards for a score. 

"They did a great job getting movement up front and I was just trying to be decisive and make a play," Miller said.

"I was just thinking 'don't get caught, just keep running," he said with a laugh. In previous weeks teammates had joked with him about being caught from behind by defenders. 

"I haven't run like that in a long time," Miller joked. 

The Texans have had a balanced attack for weeks and when the rushing attack gets going, the passing attack appreciates it. 

"It just opened up the whole offense," said Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. 

He finished the day with 12 carries for 162 yards and the long score. His 13.5 yards per carry average was the best of his career. The team set a single-game franchise record for rushing with 281 yards. 

Miller was decisive and explosive. Much more the player the Texans hoped they would get when they signed him from Miami than he has been in his time with the team the past two seasons. This has been a huge development for the Texans offense the past few weeks on offense as he's forced teams to respect the rushing attack opening things up for the passing game.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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