Astros starter Jordan Lyles tried to navigate his way through the Rangers lineup without his best stuff today. It didn’t work. Realizing that Lyles was having trouble locating his breaking pitches, a patient Rangers team battered him for eight runs in the first four innings. New Astro Edgar Gonzalez relieved Lyles in the fifth and, in true Astros form, gave up a homerun to the first batter he faced.
Homeruns continue to be an issue for Astros pitchers. The Houston staff allowed three longballs in each of the three games of the series against Texas.
It’s hard to find a silver lining in this one as almost nothing went right for the home team. Jason Castro clubbed a solo homer in the fourth and added an RBI single late against mop-up man Derek Lowe. Chris Carter followed with a 3-run blast off Lowe to put a band-aid on what was more like a gushing wound of a game.
Jose Veras managed to pitch a scoreless ninth as the Rangers hitters were thinking about what might be available in the post-game buffet line. Veras, he of the maximum effort delivery, looked like he was going to face-plant on every pitch. Is this guy really our closer?
Brandon Barnes added another cosmetic homer in the ninth, a 2-run job, against some guy named Ortiz. I’m not sure what his first name is because I had muted the sickening Rangers announcers in about the third inning. The video portion of the broadcast was bad enough. The FSN feed made it look like there were about 15,000 Rangers fans and seven Astros fans in attendance.
The 12-7 loss drops the Astros to a dismal 10-28 on the year. Now its off to Detroit where the Astros face yet another first place team. The 3-game series gets underway tomorrow at 6:08 CDT with Bud Norris opposing Anibal Sanchez.
The schedule makers didn’t do the newest members of the American League any favors. After the Tigers series the Astros will have played more than half of their games against teams who made the playoffs last season. The Astros then head to Pittsburgh for their first interleague matchup of the season. It will be nice to play against a team we are used to seeing the Astros beat. And, hey, no DH!