Late HR sinks Astros

Late HR sinks Astros
July 10, 2013, 11:00 pm
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Art Howe breaks down Astros loss

The Astros wasted a good pitching performance from Jordan Lyles and a career-high four-hit game by Brett Wallace. Matt Carpenter’s two-run home run off Wesley Wright in the seventh inning was the difference as the Astros lost 5-4 and were swept by the Cardinals in the brief two-game set at Busch Stadium. The Astros out-hit the Cardinals 10-7 but were only 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. In all three innings that Houston scored, St. Louis also scored in the inning.
 
STARTING PITCHING
Lyles pitched well enough to win, but the bullpen failed to deliver for the 22-year-old. Lyles left the game with one out in the seventh inning leading 4-3. In 6 1/3 innings Lyles allowed four runs and six hits.
Shelby Miller didn’t have his best game and failed to get his 10th win. Miller lasted only five innings, allowing three runs and five hits with five strikeouts and five walks.
 
BULLPEN
To the first batter he faced, Wright gave up a two-run home run to Carpenter, giving the Cardinals a 5-4 lead and handing the loss to Wright (0-3). Jose Cisnero, the fourth Houston pitcher, pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Seth Maness (5-1), who relieved Miller, allowed one run in two innings and earned the win. Edward Mujica picked up a save for the second straight game, giving him 25 on the season by pitching a scoreless ninth.
AT THE PLATE
Wallace is turning into a hitting machine. His third single of the game scored Jose Altuve to give the Astros a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning.
Chris Carter’s production has increased lately as he’s not expanding the strike zone and is hitting more to the opposite field. He deposited Miller’s first pitch of the second inning into the right-field bleachers for his 18th home run, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead.
Jason Castro struck out swinging for the third out of the seventh inning with runners on the corners and the Astros trailing 5-4. Brandon Barnes was hitless, leaving seven runners on base.
 
Carpenter’s two-run home run was the game changer. Matt Holliday had two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals.
IN THE FIELD
Shortstop Jake Elmore saved a run in the fourth inning, stopping a ball from reaching the outfield and almost throwing out Matt Adams at first base. The Cardinals then had runners at the corners with two outs and Lyles got David Freese for the third out with no runs scoring in the inning.
 
ON THE BASES
J.D. Martinez was thrown out at the plate by first baseman Adams in Houston’s two-run second inning. Martinez got a poor jump from third and hesitated on Lyles’ safety squeeze.
 
UP NEXT
The Astros are off on Thursday before embarking on a three-game series starting on Friday at Tampa Bay, which won three of four games vs. Houston at Minute Maid Park last week.
Houston manager Bo Porter hasn’t set his rotation vs. the Rays, who on Friday will start LHP David Price (3-4, 4.18 ERA). In the Rays’ 8-0 win over Houston on July 2, Price needed only 70 pitches to throw seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts. On Saturday the Rays will start RHP Roberto Hernandez (4-10, 4.93). Chris Archer (3-3, 3.59 ERA) starts for the Rays on Sunday.

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