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Texans tab familiar face Gaine as new GM, working on O'Brien extension

Brian Gaine will return to the Texans. Buffalobills.com

The Texans have reportedly settled on Brian Gaine as their new general manager, replacing Rick Smith. Gaine was hired away from the Texans last year, joining the Buffalo Bills as Vice President of Player personnel. Prior to that, Gaine spent three years with the Texans as director of player personnel. 

Gaine also served as assistant general manager with the Miami Dolphins. He reportedly has a good working relationship with head coach Bill O'Brien. Gaine replaces Smith, who took a leave of absence to care for his ailing wife. Smith will likely return at some point, but in another role if Gaine is successful. 

Gaine is a respected personnel man who has interviewed for several GM jobs in recent years. O'Brien, who is apparently close to a contract extension, will likely have more say on player acquisition as part of his deal. He has not earned it, but the reportedly "toxic" relationship with Smith will no longer be an excuse. 

Gaine inherits a roster that when healthy should be competitive. The return of J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus should boost the defense, and Deshaun Watson appears to be a franchise quarterback in the making. However, he will need to rebuild a terrible offensive line and boost a shaky secondary, all without a first or second round pick. However, the team has significant cap room to make a splash in free agency. 

Meanwhile, the team is working on extension for O'Brien. He has several staff positions to fill, and really needs to consider a new defensive coordinator. 

But he at least has a new GM to work with. One he already knew.

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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