Astros bats wake up – But was it enough?
Entering Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee the Astros offense had scored three runs or less in each of the last nine games. That streak would come to an abrupt end against former Astro Randy Wolf. Houston hitters showed some patience against the crafty left-hander, coaxing three walks and forcing Wolf to throw 82 pitches in four innings.
Wolf gave up seven runs on seven hits and left the game trailing 7-1 after four innings. Carlos Lee drove in two of those runs and scored another. Meanwhile, Astros starter Bud Norris was dealing. After Corey Hart led off the fourth inning with a homer, Bud retired eleven straight batters. Norris was painting the corners and working his fastball in, out, up, and down. Bud struck out nine and walked two in seven innings of excellent work. The Brewers managed only four hits while Norris was in the game.
Carlos Lee added another run for Norris with a long homerun in the seventh. Lee’s fourth consecutive multi-hit game raised his average above .300 for the season.
Rhiner Cruz came in and pitched a perfect eighth but couldn’t find the plate in the ninth. Cruz walked the first two Milwaukee hitters in the ninth and was relieved by Wesley Wright. Jonathan Lucroy knocked in two runs with a pinch-triple to make things interesting, but Wright got a couple of weak ground balls to preserve an 8-3 victory. It was the third straight win for Norris and improved his record to 4-1.
J.A. Happ (2-3, 5.72 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) goes against Shaun Marcum (2-1, 3.07 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) in tomorrow’s finale of the brief two-game series. The Astros also announced that Jordan Lyles will stay in the rotation and pitch Sunday against the Rangers.