Huge throws in the clutch keep Texans in the game

Watson player of game as Texans come up short

Deshaun Watson started and ended the Texans scoring and survived plenty of pressure in the middle as he led the Texans to a victory on Monday Night Football.


Flying high for six

Deshaun Watson bailed out the Texans in a bad situation. On a 4th and 1 deep in Saints territory the Texans elected to go for it after they failed to get a challenge overturned. Watson kept it himself for a big gain and then dove for the score. Texans up early.

Steady in the middle

Watson would get worked over by the Saints as the offensive line was leaky and allowed six total sacks. His back would bother him after the Superman heroics on the first score.

Watson and company would answer a Saints drive out of halftime for a touchdown with one of their own as he finished it off with a pitch to DeAndre Hopkins for their second hookup of the day.

Later, the Watson magic would happen.

Almost a magical ending

After Watson hit Hopkins for a huge strike, the Texans would head to the line where Watson hit a huge throw to his newest wideout Kenny Stills. This could have been the finishing touch on an amazing night but the defense failed to keep the Saints off the board.

The defense came up short in a ton of ways, but Watson is as good as ever. His back will be something to monitor going forward, but the Texans can rest assured there is more good ahead from Watson.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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