Cisnero comes up big in Astros' win

Cisnero comes up big in Astros' win
May 19, 2013, 12:00 am
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Jose Cisnero comes up big in Astros' win

Jose Cisnero last pitched on May 11. He’s been the forgotten man in the Astros bullpen.

Cisnero’s relief performance on Saturday was well received. He was instrumental in Houston’s 4-2 11th-inning win at Pittsburgh, pitching 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

“He did a tremendous job of saving the rest of the bullpen and keeping the game right there and gave our offense a chance late to put together that two-run rally,” said Astros manager Bo Porter.

Cisnero showed a lively arm, attacked the strike zone and got big outs from the seventh inning through the 10th inning.

No out was any bigger than in the seventh inning. Cisnero, the third of three Astros relievers in the inning, struck out Gaby Sanchez looking with the bases loaded to end the inning. The Pirates failed to score in the seventh as they tried to build on their 2-1 lead.

“He did a good job in a big spot,” said Trevor Crowe, who scored, had a hit and two walks. “Our bullpen’s been taxed lately and we needed a couple of innings. Not only did he give us innings, he did it in a high-leverage situation, was very successful. That should be a big confidence booster for him.”

The right-handed Cisnero allowed only two hits with five strikeouts and one walk. He even had his first major league at-bat, striking out to end the ninth inning.

Jose Veras relieved Cisnero in the 11th inning to preserve the save after the Astros scored twice in the top of the 11th.

“It was pretty much his (Cisnero) game until we took the lead and Veras is going to come in,” Porter said.

Cisnero threw 47 pitches, 31 for strikes. Six of his seven outings this season have been two-plus innings.