Instant Replay: Astros lose 14th straight

Instant Replay: Astros lose 14th straight
September 28, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Andy Pettitte went out in style, throwing a five-hit, complete-game masterpiece against the Astros in his final major league game.

The retiring left-hander from Deer Park was dominating in New York’s 2-1 win on Saturday before a crowd of 37,199 at Minute Maid Park. The loss extended the Astros’ franchise-record losing streak to 14 games. The pro-Pettitte crowd was on its feet the last of the ninth inning, and after the game, players from both teams came out of their dugouts to applaud Pettitte.

Starting rotation
Through five innings Paul Clemens (4-7) was pitching like a man who wants a spot in the rotation next year, allowing no runs and only two hits after five innings. Then in the sixth inning Clemens displayed a cut on his right hand, which prompted a visit to the mound from Astros manager Bo Porter and the training staff. The right-hander was pulled after giving up three singles in a four-batter stretch in the sixth inning. In 5 1/3 innings Clemens allowed two runs, one earned, and five hits with four strikeouts and one walk, the game’s leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson.

Pettitte (11-11) was vintage Pettitte. Pettitte allowed only the one run and still looked strong after finishing at 116 pitches, 77 for strikes.

In the bullpen
Josh Zeid came into the New York eighth inning with runners at first and second and one out. Zeid retired the two batters he faced.

At the plate
Jose Altuve had two hits for Houston and scored the lone run, on a RBI groundout by Chris Carter in the fourth inning.

Robinson Cano and Ichiro Suzuki had two hits each for the Yankees. Cano’s single to score Chris Stewart tied the game 1-1 in the sixth inning. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a throwing error by Astros catcher Matt Pagnozzi, allowing Eduardo Nunez to score from third base.

In the field
Second baseman Altuve and center fielder Brandon Barnes made stellar plays in keeping New York to only two runs in the sixth inning. Altuve made a lunging, diving grab for the second out with the bases loaded, saving at least one run. Barnes ran down a ball to deep left-center for the third out with two runners on base.

In an unusual play, Astros catcher Pagnozzi spiked the ball in front of him, allowing a run to score in the sixth inning. Pagnozzi was going to throw behind the runner at second base, but elected to hold back on the throw and the ball came out of his hands. In the first inning Pagnozzi threw out Granderson trying to steal second base.

On the bases
Running on the pitch from second base, a hustling Altuve scored on a groundout in the fourth inning for Houston’s first run. Altuve never broke stride rounding third base as Carter hit the ball to shortstop.

Up next
Sunday is the season finale with LHP Erik Bedard (4-12, 4.81 ERA) starting for the Astros.

The Astros will hold a special ceremony for Yankees closer Mariano Rivera during Sunday’s pregame ceremonies. Former Yankees manager Joe Torre and Yankees teammate Roger Clemens are scheduled to participate in Rivera’s ceremony. Rivera will be presented with a 60-inch by 40 inch painting by sports artist Opie Otterstad.

More Team Talk