The Astros couldn’t get the bats going on a chilly Saturday in Cincinnati. Johnny Cueto and a pair of relievers shut down the Houston offense in a 6-0 win for the Reds. The Astros missed an early opportunity to break out on top, leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. The Reds plated two runs in the bottom half of the inning off Houston starter Lucas Harrell and never looked back.
Harrell dropped to 1-2 for the year with a six inning performance that featured nine hits by the Reds. Harrell allowed all six Cincinnati runs (5 earned) walked one and struck out one. Harrell hasn’t won since pitching seven shutout innings against Colorado in his first start of the season.
Not much to get excited about on the offensive side today as the Astros were shut out for the second time this season. I guess the silver lining is the fact that it took 21 games for the Astros to be on the wrong side of a blowout. Travis Buck got the start in rightfield and collected two of Houston’s six hits in the game. Carlos Lee, who had started all 20 games prior to today, sat out with a sprained ankle suffered in Friday’s 6-4 win. El Caballo is likely to miss at least one more game with the injury.
The Astros look to win their second series of the season in tomorrow’s finale. The only other series victory was way back on opening weekend against the Rockies. However, the Astros have won five of six finales. Jordan Lyles has been brought up from AAA to make the start. If Lyles can duplicate the success he has enjoyed in Oklahoma City he could secure a spot in the Astros rotation for the long term.