Last night was Jon Singleton‘s highly anticipated major league debut. He wound up going 1 for 3 with a solo shot and his first 2 RBI in his career. Even better than his home run, the fans at Minute Maid Park were able to leave happy as the home team walked away with a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
The pitching matchup featured Collin McHugh taking the ball against lefty C.J. Wilson. McHugh struggled with his command early on which led to an elevated pitch count and early departure. Even with his lack of consistency he was able to do his job for 5 innings and yielded just 2 hits.
Wilson was surprisingly off his game as well. The Astros threatened early in the game. Dexter Fowler and Jose Altuve singled prior to George Springer striking out and then Jason Castro grounding into a double play. The Angels starter allowed runners to get to 1st and 2nd again in the 2nd inning. Again, an Astro grounded into a double play, ending the inning.
But the third inning is what led to CJ getting the loss and also removed from the game. Jonathan Villar, Dexter Fowler, and George Springer took walks to load the bases while Jose Altuve struck out for the first out of the inning. Then Jason Castro ripped a 2-run single into right field, which scored Villar and Fowler. Matt Dominguez singled to load the bases yet again.
So on to the number six spot in the lineup: Rookie Jonathan Singleton. Wilson, already struggling to throw strikes consistently, threw a four-pitch walk to Singleton. Yes, Singleton’s first RBI was a bases-loaded walk. CJ was then able to strike Chris Carter out swinging before Robbie Grossman made it a 5-0 ballgame with a 2 run single, thus removing Wilson from the game. With the lineup batting around, Villar grounded out to end the Astros five-run frame.
The five runs scored were probably more than McHugh needed to win the game on an ordinary night. Collin did manage to throw the five innings necessary to qualify for the win. However, his inefficiency limited him to just the five innings while throwing 96 pitches.
For the last few weeks the Astros bullpen has been solid. Darin Downs came in to relieve McHugh in the top of the 6th and threw a quick 1-2-3 inning, striking out Josh Hamilton and recording two grounders. Josh Fields got the ball for the 7th inning. He too was able to record a 1-2-3 inning, but in his case, struck out two batters prior to getting a fly out.
After the Astros five run frame that forced Wilson to exit the game, they were pretty much quiet the rest of the night. Cam Bedrosian, a 22-year-old, made his major league debut after being called up from AA Arkansas. In the minor leagues, Bedrosian struck out hitters for most of his outs. Against the Astros he managed a strikeout and two grounders to second base. Regardless of how he gets outs, he had a successful debut in his perfect frame of work.
Josh Fields came back out to begin the top of the 8th. After retiring the lead-off man, Fields surrendered a solo shot to Collin Cowgill. With Josh Hamilton coming to the plate, a lefty, Bo Porter brought in Tony Sipp‘s 0.00 ERA. Unfortunately, Hamilton crushed a no doubter to right field. Singleton then made another error which prompted Kyle Farnsworth to enter the game with a 5-2 lead, two down, and a runner on first. Kyle managed to get the Angels hitter to pop out to end the inning.
Jon Singleton led of the bottom of the 8th inning with a solo home run on a 3-1 fastball. That was also his first major league hit. Chris Carter made it back-to-back jacks with an opposite field home run making it 7-2 in favor of the Astros.
Chad Qualls came on to finish the game in the top of the 9th. After yielding a lead-off single, Qualls had a fly out, a grounder that was nearly a double play, and another fly out to end the game.