Astros lose but win series vs. Yankees

Astros lose but win series vs. Yankees
April 3, 2014, 9:45 pm
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Apr 3, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros manager Bo Porter (16) talks to starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer (39) during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park.

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

The Astros fell a game short of their first-ever sweep of the Yankees, falling to New York, 4-2 on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park. A win would have given the team its first 3-0 start since 2001, when they opened the season with a three-game sweep of Milwaukee in Houston.

STARTING PITCHING

Left-handed pitcher Brett Oberholtzer breezed through the first two innings before running into trouble in the third. The Yankees tied the score at 1-1 after three straight singles. Then he walked Derek Jeter to load the bases with one out, before Carlos Beltran hit a sac fly to give New York its first lead of the series. After retiring the first two batters in the sixth, he was at 91 pitches (63 strikes) and was replaced by Brad Peacock.

Oberholtzer was tagged with the loss. Here’s his final line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO.

The Yankees’ Ivan Nova also lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and two runs while issuing five walks and one strikeout on 88 pitches (47 strikes), but he left with a 3-2 lead.

BULLPEN

Peacock pitched the final 3 1/3 innings. He gave up two hits, one earned run and three walks while striking out four.

AT THE PLATE

Astros outfielder Dexter Fowler continued his hot streak, leading off with a single to start the game. He would eventually score to give his team an early lead. Then he added an RBI single in the fifth. He joins the late Ken Caminiti as the only players to start their Astros career with three straight multi-hit games.

Outfielder Alex Presley, whom the Astros claimed off waivers from the Twins in late March, got his first hit as an Astro – a single in the second inning.  Jose Altuve, Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Villar each added a hit. The Astros could not take advantage of their scoring opportunities as they left 17 runners on base. They also hit into four double plays in the first five innings.

IN THE FIELD

In the fifth inning, it looked like left fielder Robbie Grossman was going to make a diving catch of a Yangervis Solarte soft fly ball to left center, but he just missed it. That double was the Yankees’ first extra-base hit of the night, and Solarte would eventually score New York’s third run of the game for a two-run lead.

Then the Astros committed a costly error with two outs in the seventh inning – Carlos Corporan was going for a pop up between home plate and the mound but backed off at the last second as the ball dropped to the ground and another Yankees run scored, giving them a 4-2 lead.

INJURY UPDATE

Jason Castro was hit by a pitch in his first two at-bats and he eventually left the game after the fifth inning due to discomfort in his right foot/ankle area. It was later announced that he has a right foot contusion, X-rays were negative and he’s listed as day-to-day.

UP NEXT

The Astros will host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a four-game series beginning on Friday at 7:10 p.m.