Houston grabs the win in dramatic fashion

Altuve's walk-off slam lifts Astros over Rangers

Jose Altuve blasted the game-winning grand slam Tuesday against the Rangers. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the recent 6-3 road trip behind them and fresh off a day off on Monday, the Astros returned home to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night to welcome in the Rangers for a quick two-game set, kicking off 20 days of consecutive games. After trailing most of the game, Carlos Correa forced extra innings, where Jose Altuve would play the hero to win the game for the Astros.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 3

Astros' Record: 38-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (3-1)

Losing Pitcher: Demarcus Evans (0-2)

McCullers Jr. returns from the IL

After three scoreless innings by Lance McCullers Jr. in his return from the IL, the Rangers would get a run, the first of the game, against him in the top of the fourth. Then, after the first out in the fifth, Texas would load the bases against him on two walks and an error, forcing him out of the game as Dusty Baker would bring in Blake Taylor for damage control. Taylor issued a four-pitch walk to bring in a run against his first batter before retiring the next two, finalizing McCullers Jr.'s line at 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 77 P.

Odorizzi does his job to piggyback, Correa forces extras

As previously noted by Houston's manager, Jake Odorizzi came in to piggyback McCullers starting in the top of the sixth to get some work while Houston benefits from having six healthy starters. He worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless inning in the sixth, then in the home half, Houston was able to load the bags with one out on three singles. Yuli Gurriel delivered a sac fly to cut the deficit in half, but that's all they would get as the game moved on.

After a scoreless seventh on both sides, Odorizzi worked around another single in the top of the eighth to keep the score at 2-1. Houston went down 1-2-3 for the second straight frame in the bottom of the inning, then Odorizzi kept going in the top of the ninth, recording his fourth scoreless inning. Down to their last out, Carlos Correa would keep the game alive by launching a solo homer to tie the game 2-2 and forcing extra innings.

Altuve walks it off in grand fashion

Ryan Pressly entered for the top of the tenth, but after two strikeouts, he would give up a tough-luck RBI single to score the free runner to put the Rangers back in front 3-2. Houston loaded the bases to start the bottom of the inning, getting back-to-back walks to put the winning run on second base. Jose Altuve wouldn't just bring in those two; instead, hitting a walk-off grand slam to win it, 6-3.

Up Next: The second and final game of this short series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Wednesday. The Rangers will send Jordan Lyles (2-4, 5.37 ERA) to the mound while the Astros will look to their ace, Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.68 ERA), to get the win.

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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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