Astros break sluggish streak at Tropicana Field

The Houston Astros‘ bats were live and well once again, as they ran up nine runs on the Tampa Bay Rays. With Yordan Alvarez returning to the lineup, Taylor Jones was placed on the taxi squad, although we don’t have answer to his short stint on the injured list.

As the red hot Yuli Gurriel got Friday off, Aledmys Diaz was elite in his replacement. The right-hander went two-for-five with four RBIs, while only Jose Altuve and Myles Straw didn’t reach base out of everyone in the lineup.

The Astros add run support to Lance McCullers’ quality start.

While the Astros aren’t known to hit well down in Tampa, they are batting .214/.281/.340 before Friday’s game since 2016. The bats were happy to be hitting in Tropicana, while combining for 15 total hits on Friday.

As Lance McCullers Jr. took the mound in his hometown, the right-hander had his best start of the season. While tying a career high in pitches thrown, McCullers tossed seven scoreless innings of baseball with nine strikeouts and only allowing three hits and three walks.

With the bullpen always being a large topic of discussion, it is worth noting how Kent Emanuel was used in such a short situation. The left-hander went eight plus innings in his debut, but only went one on Friday.

As Andre Scrubb returned for the Astros, the right-hander made his 2021 debut on his first day off the injured list. While Peter Solomon was optioned for Scrubb, the reliever went one inning, allowing the only runs of the game. Command still seems to be an issue behind Scrubb’s pitches.

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Props to Dusty Baker, who is now 12th all-time in managerial wins. Houston is back on the field on Saturday at 3:10 p.m., as they look to take the series from the Rays. In minor league news, Jairo Solis will miss up to three months, after elbow surgery. Here are the minor league rosters: