CULTUREMAP NEWS

Mapping a new direction: CultureMap revamps editorial department

Arden Ward and Steven Devadanam. Gow Media

Originally appeared on CultureMap/Houston.

CultureMap has revamped its editorial department, announcing Arden Ward as statewide editorial director and Steven Devadanam as Houston editor.

“I am delighted to announce the promotion of Arden Ward to run editorial for CultureMap statewide,” said David Gow, CEO of Gow Media. “Arden has leadership qualities, strong editorial skills, and a deep understanding of the content that resonates with our audiences.”

Ward joined CultureMap in 2011, during its expansion to Austin. She served as executive editor in Austin before becoming network managing editor, where she played an integral role in the brand’s expansion to the Fort Worth and San Antonio markets.

Devadanam brings a diverse set of experiences to his new role as editor of Houston. His background includes strategic roles at Village Voice Media, Modern Luxury, NFL Network, and CNN Digital. “We are excited to welcome Steven to the CultureMap team,” Ward said. “He is a champion of the brand and brings great enthusiasm for the city and its culture — which we look forward to sharing with our readers on a daily basis.”

Devadanam replaces Clifford Pugh, who served as editor-in-chief of CultureMap Houston since the company’s inception in 2009. “Clifford has been instrumental in the development of CultureMap,” said Gow. “We are very grateful for his leadership and the mark he has made over the past eight years.”

Devadanam is just the latest in a series of strong additions to the CultureMap editorial team. In May, the company announced the hiring of Ken Hoffman, the longstanding popular columnist from the Houston Chronicle. And more recently, under Ward’s leadership, CultureMap hired Stephanie Allmon Merry as managing editor in Dallas, and Katie Friel as editor in Austin and Brandon Watson as food editor in Austin.

“We have been investing in the editorial team across the state,” said Gow. “With these additions, we are poised to extend our leadership position.”

CultureMap is owned by Gow Media, which also owns SportsMap.

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Houston can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

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