ROCKETS REACTION

The injury bug, PJ Tucker's absence, and Kevin Porter Jr's impressive debut

In the words of Victor Oladipo, "The whole year has been a whirlwind", which is correct. The Houston Rockets have suffered from James Harden's departure, injuries, and the lack of chemistry. Coach Silas mentioned that the season has suffered because of those components. It was said that PJ Tucker is frustrated with not playing with another competitor. Tucker ended up leaving Sacramento mid-game because of the situation.

"We're going to try to figure out something that works for him and works for us as far as him not being on the team anymore. I was under the assumption that he was going to play tonight, and he didn't play. That was disappointing," Coach Silas said. "He decided that he was just not really with it, and we decided that that's a good idea. Let's move on."

Speaking of injuries, Eric Gordon scored 17 points in the first half but then hurt his groin. Gordon did not return. Before the game started, it was announced John Wall got dinged up after bumping knees with another player during Wednesday's practice. One positive note, Christian Wood has become healthier and participated in Wednesday's practice. He still didn't play against the Sacramento Kings for precautionary reasons. It became a scary sight when Kevin Porter Jr. almost injured his knee during the game. Hopefully, the Rockets can avoid the injury bug for the rest of the season, as they only have eight players to deploy versus the Utah Jazz Friday night.

Kevin Porter Jr. had a nice debut

Porter had an impressive night because of his playmaking ability. He was able to create a double-double for himself. Kevin finished Thursday night's game with 13 points and 10 assists, including three steals and one block. He shot 45 percent from the field versus the Kings. Porter showed active hands in the passing lanes, which made him dangerous in transition. He was able to find his teammates on fast breaks, and showed the ability to create for himself.

Porter is slowly getting comfortable inside the Rockets' offense. He is showing aggression and discipline when running the offensive sets for the Rockets, which is impressive. That allows Porter to find his teammates for open opportunities, which allows the game to become easier for him. Porter's game will continue to get better because of the support system on the Rockets' coaching staff.

Hopefully, the Rockets can get healthy and lineup some trades before the deadline. That should be their focus moving forward.

Next up: The Rockets head to Utah to play the Jazz on Friday night.

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.



That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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