Astros fall behind, can't catch up to A's

Astros fall behind, can't catch up to A's
April 17, 2013, 7:00 pm
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BOX SCORE

For the second time in three days, the Astros fell into an early hole from which they couldn't recover.

Their ace Bud Norris was knocked out of the game after recording two outs on Wednesday, two days after Erik Bedard was pulled from his start after 1/3 of an inning.

The Astros went on to lose 7-5 to the Athletics in Oakland on Wednesday and were swept for the second time by the A’s, who are 6-0 against the Astros in the early going this season.

Starters: Not a good day for Bud Norris.

He went just 2/3 of an inning, the shortest outing of his career. He gave up six earned runs on five hits and three walks. He threw 46 pitches. His record fell to 2-2.

Bullpen: On a day a deep outing from Norris would have helped the bullpen was a bright spot.

Xavier Cedeno gave up one run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. Wesley Wright, Hector Ambriz and Jose Veras combined to go throw a scoreless 4 2/3 innings.

At the plate: The Astros' bats tried to bail them out, but they never made it all the way back. They scored three in the seventh and one in the ninth.

Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a runs scored. Jason Castro went 2-for-4. And Rick Ankiel smashed a pinch-hit homer in the ninth.

Health check: Coach Jeff Murphy had to be helped off the field before the game ever started when a screen blew into him during batting practice. He pulled a hamstring and bruised a knee.  
 
Up next: On Friday, the Astros will start a three-game set with the Indians. That will also be the start of their six-game homestand.

Lucas Harrell (0-2) is scheduled to start Friday, while Philip Humber (0-3) and Erik Bedard (0-1) will go Sunday.