O'BRIEN AT THE COMBINE ON KEY DEFENSIVE FREE AGENTS

O'Brien desires Mathieu reunion, mum on Clowney and Jackson

Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After five years with the Texans Jadeveon Clowney is headed to free agency barring a new contract or franchise tag. Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was tight-lipped at the NFL Scouting Combine about the defensive star's future passing the burden of answering those questions to the front office.

"We're in that time period now where there's a lot of different things going on relative to our team relative to our roster and I would just tell you I'd leave anything that has to do with free agency or things like that to [general manager] Brian [Gaine]."

Clowney was in the news last week when NBC's Peter King said he didn't believe Clowney worked as hard as his teammates on the Texans.

O'Brien passed on the opportunity to address those comments directly.

"I don't comment on what other people say," he said. "I've had a really good experience with JD [Jadeveon Clowney]. He's played good football for us. He's a good person. Enjoyed coaching him. Again, it's the business side of things. I have nothing but good things to say about [Clowney]."

As for Tyrann Mathieu, O'Brien heaped praise on the safety who is set to be a free agent.

"He's a guy that really meant a lot to our locker room," O'Brien said touting that Mathieu was named a team captain after being with the Texans just a few months. "I think that says a lot about the impact he had not just as a player, he's a good football player he's a smart football player a versatile player, but also what he meant leadership-wise in the locker room."

He ended his comments on Mathieu with a desire to be reunited with the safety.

"There's no doubt that we would love to have Tyrann back."

O'Brien also weighed in on fellow Texans safety and free agent to be Kareem Jackson. He praised Jackson's versatility and leadership qualities. He went on to say "Kareem's been a good player" for the Texans.

O'Brien said free agency and the offseason is a process and a business while using the cliche it takes two to tango. He directed most of those questions to general manager Brian Gaine who speaks on Thursday.

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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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