TEXANS-BILLS

Texans Player of the Game: Johnathan Joseph

Jonathan Joseph had a big game. Bob Levey/Getty Images

He is one of the elder statesmen of the secondary and with veteran intuition Johnathan Joseph made the biggest play of his season,  picking off Nathan Peterman and taking the lead for the Texans on their way to squeaking out the win on Sunday against the Bills. 

On second and 10 with just under two minutes left, Peterman let one rip towards Kelvin Benjamin but Joseph stepped in front of the Bills pass and returned it 28 yards for the go-ahead score. 

"We had a great call for the defense," Joseph said. "Zone pressure and I think Kareem (Jackson) did a great job all day disguising things and we hadn't called that play all day."

The Texans trailed by three points but had first and goal from the one. Unfortunately, the red zone woes continued. The Texans managed to just tie the game, giving the Bills the ball back with a chance to take the lead. 

With no timeouts and just under two minutes, the Bills were committed to passing with their backup. Joseph made them pay. The ensuing drive saw Kareem Jackson add an interception of his own. 

Jadeveon Clowney joked after the game it was an "old guy" day with two of the longest-tenured Texans making plays in the game. Jackson laughed when he heard that and implored the young guys to play until they have an "old guy" game. 

Joseph was active on the day scoring six tackles and adding a couple of pass deflections to his stat line. He said postgame he hurt his shoulder earlier in the game but stayed in. It was his first interception of the season. Joseph tied Jackson for the Texans career lead in interceptions with his grab making it 14 for his career. Jackson would break that tie with his 15th on the next drive. 

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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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