Houston can't complete the comeback

Astros suffer disappointing loss to Orioles in opener

Zack Greinke had an uncharacteristically poor start against Baltimore on Monday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

Having split a four-game series against Detroit to end their recent road trip, the Astros returned home for a quick three-game set against the Orioles to try and start a new winning streak. They would be unable to do that, though, instead dropping a disappointing loss to one of the weaker teams in the MLB to start this series.

Final Score: Orioles 9, Astros 7

Astros' Record: 48-31, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Paul Fry (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (2-3)

Greinke surprisingly struggles against Baltimore

After two scoreless innings on both sides, Baltimore would get the best of Zack Greinke in the top of the third to score the game's first run, notching three consecutive two-out singles to go up 1-0. Houston countered with a two-run fourth, sending eight batters to the plate with a sac fly by Kyle Tucker and RBI bases-loaded walk by Jose Altuve to go up 2-1, though leaving the bases loaded to end the frame.

That would prove pivotal, as in the top of the fifth, Baltimore would get a leadoff single that would turn into a go-ahead two-run homer to put them back in front 3-2 off Greinke. He would get the third out but go no further, making his final line 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 96 P.

Houston's come back comes short in disappointing loss to O's

After Greinke's five innings, Andre Scrubb, recently recalled from AAA and making his first appearance since May 30th, erased a one-out walk for a scoreless inning. Blake Taylor was next out of Houston's bullpen, loading the bases with one out on two singles and a walk before Baltimore would extend their lead to 4-2 on an RBI groundout. Houston was able to load the bases again in the bottom of the seventh with one out, and Kyle Tucker would make it a one-run game with an RBI walk, his second RBI of the night. Myles straw did the same in the next at-bat, tying the game, but the next two batters would strikeout to leave the game tied and all three runners on base, leaving Houston wishing they had done more.

Brandon Bielak kept it a tied game with a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, as Houston as well went down in order in the bottom half. Bielak returned to the mound in the top of the ninth, but after a leadoff single allowed a two-run go-ahead homer to put Baltimore back in front 6-4. He later allowed two more runs on a two-RBI double before Houston would bring in Ralph Garza Jr., who also allowed a run on a two-out RBI double to make it 9-4 before the inning would come to a lengthy close. Houston made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, getting three runs on RBI singles by Myles Straw, Robel Garcia, and a sac fly by Jose Altuve, but would ultimately come short of the comeback to earn the disappointing loss to the Orioles to start the series.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. While the Astros have Jose Urquidy (6-3, 3.32 ERA) slated to start, the Orioles have not yet announced their starter.

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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