Astros: Hooks Continue to Fall Further in the Standings

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Astros Apr 21, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of baseballs and a bat on the field during batting practice prior to a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Astros Apr 21, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of baseballs and a bat on the field during batting practice prior to a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /
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Defense and Pitching

With the trade deadline approaching, Francis Martes hurled his most impressive start of his Double A career. The number three prospect in the Astros system threw seven shutout innings allowing one hit and striking out nine batters. If the Astros are able to acquire a top tier pitcher it appears that Martes has placed his name near the top of many wish lists. After his most recent start on Thursday the young Dominican is striking out 9.03 batters per nine innings with a 3.76 ERA and 1.300 WHIP.

On the not-so-good list: Cy Sneed (again), Kent Emanuel, Aaron West, Michael Freeman, and Kyle Smith. Sneed and Emanuel both failed to get through six innings and allowed seven and six runs respectively, although Sneed did bounce back on Sunday throwing six and two thirds innings of two run ball. West has continued to struggle as heir apparent to Brendan McCurry. He had one clean two thirds of an inning on Thursday, but he took the loss on Tuesday and allowed three unearned runs on Friday.

Next: Lance McCullers is the Ace at the Trade Deadline

Trent Thornton, who joined the Hooks last week, made his pitching debut on Tuesday night against the San Antonio Missions. Thornton had a 7-4 record with a 4.12 ERA in the California League. On Tuesday he tossed six innings and allowed five hits. The only real blemish was a two run home run in the 4th inning in an otherwise excellent debut.

**Statistics provided by MiLB.com and Baseball Reference**

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