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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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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