Week 5 Preview with linebacker DeMarquis Gates

Roughnecks are back home on Saturday

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I sat down with DeMarquis Gates today to get to know him more and preview some of this week's upcoming game. In case you missed it, Gates had the amazing game winning play last week against the Dallas Renegades.

Many players view the XFL as a stepping stone back to the NFL. How has this league helped you?

"It's helped me get exposure, more film and have time to work on my technique, nail down the things I need to work on. Exactly what you said, try to get back into the NFL."

How are you liking the defensive scheme here in Houston?

"It's wonderful. Coach Cottrell and the rest of the defense staff put up a good game plan, a good defensive scheme. We just try to get in and make the plays that we can."

Seattle looked a lot better when they changed QBs. What do you judge them on? The prior three three games or what you saw late against St. Louis?

"You can take all games into account. We feel like they're going to use both quarterbacks. Both QBs have played so we're just going to be ready for both of them."

Preparing to go 5-0 is a big deal. Is there added pressure being the last unbeaten team in the league? Does that add a target?

"It definitely adds a target on our back but I don't think it's any pressure. We just have to take it one day at a time, play by play and come out with the W."

Game at a glance

The Roughnecks' defense had five big turnovers last week. This week they're expected to face both QB's from the Dragons, BJ Daniels and Brandon Silvers. The last time a team switched up QB's on Houston, it caused some confusion. The standards are set high for your Houston Roughnecks this week as they come back home to face the Seattle Dragons Saturday at 1 p.m. Make sure you purchase your tickets here. Let's get TDECU Stadium rockin' to welcome the 4-0 team home!


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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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