When in a jam, call on Cisnero

When in a jam, call on Cisnero
June 17, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Jose Cisnero is used to coming into games in difficult situations. That’s the life of a reliever.

In Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox, Cisnero came through in the clutch, again, in relief of Astros starter Dallas Keuchel.

It didn’t start well for Cisnero, who gave up a single to Gordon Beckham and walked his second batter, pinch hitter Conor Gillaspie. The walk loaded the bases with one out and the Astros holding a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning.

But then Cisnero struck out Alejandro De Aza swinging for the second out. Cisnero got the next batter Alexei Ramirez to hit a weak grounder to the mound to end the inning. And Cisnero’s work was done.

In Cisnero’s last 18 innings, the 24-year-old Astros rookie has struck out 20 and allowed only one run, with his two-seam fastball his best pitch.

“I work the fastball in the corners, down and in,” said Cisnero. “I (compliment) my fastball with a slider and a changeup too.”

A product of the Astros Dominican Academy, Cisnero had 100 starts in five minor league seasons in the Astros system. He’s been used primarily in long relief this season by Astros manager Bo Porter. Cisnero likes his role as a reliever.

“I like it in the bullpen,” said Cisnero. “Things are good. I’m working hard, working for my teammates.”