The Astros finished the month of May with three straight road wins. With two more victories in Anaheim to start the month of June, Bo Porter‘s team is playing their best baseball of the season. It has been a team effort and a number of players are heating up. Several Astros were in the running for this week’s Star Performer Award — but one player’s contributions stood out from the rest.
Bud Norris ♦ 1-0 record in two starts – 13 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 9 K, 6 BB Norris kept his team in the game in Colorado after falling behind 2-0 early and the Astros came back to win in extra innings. He simply dominated the Angels on Saturday as his slider was practically unhitable.
J.D. Martinez ♦ 11 for 31, 4 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB – After striking out five times in five at-bats on Monday, Martinez bounced back nicely. Strikeouts have still been coming a little too frequently for J.D. but he has also had some clutch hits in RBI situations. Martinez is currently riding a six game hitting streak.
Hector Ambriz ♦ 4 scoreless appearances including 2 Saves – I’ve been critical of Ambriz (and Porter’s usage of him) all season. But I have to give Hector credit for doing a great job this week filling in for an overused Jose Veras. Hopefully he can keep it going.
Jordan Lyles ♦ 1-0 record in two starts – In 12 & 2/3 innings Lyles allowed 3 runs on12 hits and four walks while striking out eight. Lyles has officially turned his season around after a terrible spring and subsequent demotion to AAA.
This week’s Star Performer Award goes to Carlos Pena. The veteran went 9 for 27 with four walks for the week. Pena blasted two homers and drove in a total of six runs. Carlos also stroked three doubles, stole a base, and scored five runs. After going nearly a month without a homerun as his overall numbers began to plummet, Pena seems to have heated up at just the right time.
Carlos Pena (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)