Houston loses in lopsided fashion

Padres unload on Astros early to hand Houston back-to-back losses

Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

With their eight-game winning streak snapped the night before, the Astros returned to Petco Park on Saturday night looking for a win to even the series and set up a chance to win the series on Sunday. Here is how the middle game against the Padres unfolded:

Final Score: Padres 13, Astros 2.

Record: 15-12, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zach Davies (4-2, 3.03 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-1, 4.37 ERA).

Padres knock Bielak out early and blow it open

Jose Altuve stayed hot at the plate in the top of the first, hitting a one-out double to start the hitting for the night. He would advance to third after back-to-back walks after him, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Yuli Gurriel to put the Astros out front 1-0. The Padres responded with a hotter start, getting two solo home runs off of Brandon Bielak in the bottom of the inning to get a 2-1 lead. The Padres got after him again in the bottom of the second inning, getting a leadoff solo home run, then later a three-run home run to extend their lead to 6-1.

After the three-run shot, Bielak would throw a changeup that ran inside and hit Fernando Tatis Jr. on the backside, resulting in warnings to both teams. Both managers would take their time getting explanations, and meanwhile, Dusty Baker would make the call to end Bielak's night early and move to Humberto Castellanos. Bielak's short, final line: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 4 HR. Castellanos would not fare any better once he came into the game, allowing a grand slam, San Diego's fifth in six games, to blow the game open at 11-1.

San Diego secures the series win over Houston

Taylor Jones would notch his first major-league home run in the top of the fifth, a solo shot, making it 11-2. Castellanos was able to make it to one out in the fourth before the Astros would move on to their next reliever, Joe Biagini. Biagini was able to get into the seventh inning before the Padres would score again, getting a two-run home run by Trent Grisham, his third of the night, to make it an eleven-run game again at 13-2.

Cy Sneed was Houston's fourth pitcher of the night, coming on for the eighth and striking out the three batters he faced. Houston would obviously not make the miraculous comeback in the top of the ninth, making the 13-2 score final, and securing the series for San Diego.

Up Next: The series finale between the Astros and Padres will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.84 ERA) will hope to improve to 2-0 and continue his success in 2020 for Houston, while San Diego's starter is TBD.

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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